and still has such a strong impact on people?
LB: The wounds run deep. And it is the sheer injustice of slavery that would be enough to incite one’s fire and anger. But to have it done to one’s own people, one’s own ancestors, that just makes it much more upsetting.
EBONY: We gloss the injustice of slavery in and of itself, whether women were raped, whether slaves were beaten to death, whether children were sold away from their families, just owning people in and of itself is enough to enrage a decent human being. And so, we have the Founders of this country, all of whom owned slaves, being honored and revered still to this day with maybe a side-note about how they also owned slaves. How do we in the 21st century respond to that?
LB: I think with compassion, for ourselves as well as for the people in question. America hasn’t really successfully healed the wounds that were inflicted into this culture, into this society as a by-product of slavery. We’ve just never really successfully dealt with that. And one television mini-series can’t get it done, never was going to get it done. It’s going to take some real, honest, roll-up-your sleeves work for America to really put that part of our common history of slavery and guilt and the insidious ways front-and-center, which makes it difficult to deal with because everybody thinks it’s ok now, when it’s not.
Brooke Obie writes the award-winning blog DistrictDiva.com. Follow her on Twitter @BrookeObie.