Tonight, I happened to view a scene from an old Bette Davis movie, “The Little Foxes” and thought it spoke VOLUMES about the way black slaves were TRAINED to view AND treat black children — AND especially WHO we learned this behavior from.
Even among many black adults today there is a tendency to condemn and demean black children and struggling black youth for being born under impossibly bleak conditions.
The callous and abusive behavior sometimes exhibited toward black children by often frustrated, stressed out black adults and parents has its roots in 400 years of Chattel Slavery.
Some historians believe that black slaves often PUBLICLY showed contempt for black children in order to appease their white slave-owners — AND as a way to protect their children from more vicious beatings–or worse–at the hands of the whites.
For example, a slave mother might beat her child in front of the slave-owner as a way of warding off a greater punishment. If a slave child was seen as “rebellious,” his or her parent might attempt to “break their spirit” so the slave-owner wouldn’t feel the need to.
African female slave nursing white master’s baby
While slaves and (so-called) freed blacks were unable and forbidden to properly care for their own children, they had to show deference and compassion toward the (white) children of their Victimizers.
please love our black children
Sadistic black mother in “Precious” movie
And we have all seen that “mean black mother” who curses and beats her children in public — and woe be the brave soul that dares to chastise or even suggest there might be a better way to communicate with her children. More than likely, that abusive black mother was abused herself as a child.
And the odds are that her parents were abused by their parents who were abused by their parents who were abused and so on from one slave generation to the next to the next–creating a unbroken GENERATIONAL CURSE that began during chattel slavery.
please love our black children
Are black people just “mean” — OR are we are a severely TRAUMATIZED PEOPLE who are still practicing the same SLAVE TRADITIONS that were FORCED on us during 400 YEARS of chattel slavery?
((12/2/13 — One poster (LBM) posted a comment I thought was too important not to include in this blogpost I decided to add it to the conversation):
“I think assigning the word “abuse” to what our enslaved ancestors and foreparents did may be unjust in what the intent was. For one thing, the enslaved were only harming fellow enslaved folk at the order of the plantation owner for fear of devaluing his property. Indeed a child may have been chastised as a way to ward off the master but moreso, black mothers spoke down (and sometimes hit) their children in an often feeble attempt to keep them from being sold. Sometimes enslaved children “acted the fool” to reduce their prospects of being sold. The mental illness brought on by being enslaved indeed produced some vile behaviour that continued and often increased after emancipation.”
Thank you, LBM.
To give some food for thought, I thought it would be constructive to include two book excerpts — one from ‘Black Rage’ and the second excerpt is from my book, ‘Black Love Is A Revolutionary Act’
The future of our black children hangs in the balance of what we do–as black adults. It’s crucial that we examine the emotions that drive our thoughts, speech and actions towards black children so they won’t pass along our destructive SLAVE TRADITIONS to the next generation.
(First Excerpt from Black Rage. by William H. Grier, M.D. and Price M. Cobbs)
Beating in child-rearing has its psychological roots in slavery
“The parent tells of a child both beloved and beaten, of a child taught to look for pain from even those who cherish him most, of a child who has come to feel that beatings are right and proper for him, and of a child whose view of the world, however gently it persuades him to act toward others, decrees for him that he is to be driven by the infliction of pain.
Pity that child.
Beating in child-rearing actually has its psychological roots in slavery and even yet black parents will feel that, just as they have suffered beatings as children, so it is right that their children be so treated. This kind of physical subjugation of the weak forges early in the mind of the child a link with the past and, as he learns the details of history, with slavery per se.”
END OF EXCERPT
What Are “Slave Traditions?”
A “tradition” is a set of behaviors and beliefs that are passed from one generation to the next. Traditions provide the tools to civilize (or uncivilize) a group of people, and establish order (or disorder). The best traditions promote prosperity (economic survival), and build strong families (genetic survival). All human societies — whether “primitive” or “advanced” — are bound by TRADITIONS.
All human beings — if given free choice — will establish the kind of traditions that benefit their group. However, when a group’s natural traditions are destroyed and new traditions are created by their enemies, the predictable end result is disorder and chaos.
After African slaves were forced to abandon their original (civilizing) traditions, they had to adapt to the unnatural, barbaric traditions of the slave-owners that were DESIGNED to keep them ENSLAVED.
Blacks Mistreating Other Blacks Is A Slave Tradition
When slaves were tortured and killed for trying to protect each other, it is easy to understand why some blacks still feel it is UNNATURAL to trust, protect, OR cooperate with other blacks. It’s a SLAVE TRADITION.
When black authority on the plantation represented slaves brutalizing other slaves (doing the slave-owner’s dirty work), it is easy to understand why so many blacks still distrust “black authority” and are still fearful of “white authority.” It’s a SLAVE TRADITION.
When slaves were forced to witness the suffering of their loved ones and were helpless to stop it — which is still happening to blacks in the 21st century — it is easy to understand why some blacks today have become NUMB towards the suffering of other blacks. It’s a SLAVE TRADITION.
Avoiding Emotional Intimacy Is A Slave Tradition
When the parents of slave children were unable to protect their children from predatory slave-owners, it is easy to understand why so many black parents today still feel they cannot protect their children from street or law enforcement predators. It’s a SLAVE TRADITION.
When black males and females were forbidden to love each other, and lived with the daily terror that their loved ones could be sold to another plantation and never seen again, it is easy to understand why some blacks are still afraid of loving each other too much AND why it’s so easy to “love” someone white because we have no real emotional or spiritual attachment to them. It’s a SLAVE TRADITION.
Beating And Whipping Our Black Children Is A Slave Tradition
Black mothers (and fathers) beating and cursing their children in public is a common sight in many black communities. Slave mothers used to beat and curse their children in front of the slave-owner to prove their children needed no further punishment. Why do so many black parents today STILL feel it is in their children’s best interests to abuse them? It’s a SLAVE TRADITION.
END OF EXCERPT
Three things to keep in mind while viewing this video:
1. This movie was set in the year 1900, THIRTY-FIVE YEARS after black people were supposedly emancipated from slavery yet it’s obvious we were still FUNCTIONING as slaves.
2. The movie came from the imaginations of those early (white supremacist) Hollywood filmmakers who CLEARLY understood how blacks were TRAINED to deal with our black children.
3. The black adults are portrayed (by the filmmakers) as being more concerned about the welfare of whites, especially white females, than they were about other black people, especially black children.
The fear and confusion shown by the blacks in that kitchen as to whether to feed those hungry black children or send them away while the whites in that house dined like royalty — illustrates the dilemma we faced back then — and still face today:
Do we treat OTHER black people humanely and put their welfare first — OR do we risk the wrath of racist man and racist woman?
UNFORTUNATELY, THE VIDEO OF ‘THE LITTLE FOXES’ I POSTED WAS REMOVED BY YOUTUBE FOR COPYRIGHT VIOLATIONS (OR SOME OTHER INSIDIOUS REASON) BUT HERE’S A DESCRIPTION OF THE SCENE:
The black servants were in the kitchen and several black children came to the back kitchen door and asked for food because they were hungry and some of the black adults angrily shooed them away (for fear of getting in trouble with the white people) but there was a black woman, I believe, who fed them. And prior to that I believe the white people were sitting at the dining table with a feast set out before them COOKED BY BLACK PEOPLE WHO COULD NOT FEED THEIR OWN.
if you really want to see the scene, I suggest you rent the movie from your local library (no use paying to rent or buy it).