Lest you forget

Dear Editor,

Every day should be regarded as your “Emancipation Day”. It is a progression of our daily walk- in thoughts, words and deeds. Taking control of our actions, taking responsibility for our actions, taking control of our families, directing and nurturing our children – that they can take up the mantle when we have expired.

Our ancestors were not in that privileged position of the apprenticed Chinese, Indians and Europeans. How? They were given a choice and decisions were made. Advertisements were displayed in newspapers, bulletin boards, and in churches’ bulletins: they volunteered and made the necessary plans to emigrate –with their objectives in mind. Then, they were privileged to give their “goodbyes” and travel with their “treasures” or keepsakes.

Those privileges were not given to our African ancestors. They were kidnapped, held without ransom, with no discussions and kept in the European dungeons in Africa, sometimes almost one year. Branded, stripped stark naked, raped, beaten, the pregnant young girls were discarded and left behind in Africa.

The brutality continued during the trans-Atlantic course and the “nightmare” kept pursuing them on the assigned plantations across the world: the Middle-East (Java), the West Indies, North and South Americas, arriving brutalized and “in chains”. No goodbyes, no treasures to walk with, no contracts to sign – but a holocaust day and night for over 400 years.

The apprentices practiced and enhanced their cultures, but our ancestors were prevented – if they tried they were killed, maimed and beaten. Your culture is like the “seasoning of your food” – without it, your life is bland and empty.

Lest we forget

Lest we forget that our ancestors were not free – they were “chattled robots” at the whims and fancy of their masters, always directed by their owners.

Lest we forget: We were never permitted to nurture our families. Remember, our ancestors were only sperm donors procreating the machinery for the plantations. What are we now?

Let me remind you: The Triangular Passage from Africa to the assigned plantations was a daily tortuous hell for our ancestors. It took three months or more in over-packed ships, with 300-plus in the bottom of the ships. Only 18 inches space for a person, shackled to a complete stranger with no common language. No fresh air, malnutrition, diseases, beatings, rapes and killing sprees by the sailors were our ancestors’ daily experiences.

In reality, our ancestors daily lived like pigs in their “sties”: they ate, vomited, slept, and even defecated there with the constant fumes of the bodies. To get to the large tubs to defecate, two were shackled together and dragged there – plus their bodies were ripped up by the sailors’ beatings and the rough boards as a bed for three months and more.

Let me remind you: When the ships arrived in the assigned ports, misery continued as the planters prepared our ancestors for sale. Their bodies’ cuttings and wounds were sealed up with a mixture of gunpowder, lime juice and iron rust. Can you imagine the pain our ancestors bore as that mixture was poured in their cuts?

Remember, the Europeans regarded all Africans as animals and things not as humans like them. Christopher Columbus and the Spaniards said the new race were “little devils” since they were never mentioned in the Bible. On the plantations, the Africans, your ancestors, were tied up on the ground naked and rebranded on their shoulder by the owners with a red hot iron.

We should never forget that trauma of over 400-plus years and vow never to be enslaved again. That chapter in our heritage does not define us as a race and we Africans should never permit any other race to make us feel inferior.

Remember: Because of the crippled finances of the European nations in the 15th century, the “Triangular Trade” originated. That slaving industry made them economic giants up to now: it only ended when it became foremost an economic burden, with constant rebellions on plantations, churches and civil objections in their countries.

Skillfully they were never bankrupted. How? All the european planters were compensated for their “chattles”, the loss of their properties. Those “chattles”, our ancestors whom they classified on their invoices as animals, were never compensated. It is almost 600 years, and we should feverishly endeavor to acquire reparations together..

Lest we forgot, we were derived from the first and greatest nation on earth, Africa. The attitude of the enslaver in the 15th century is the same pervading attitude today. We of the African diaspora should never permit races to make you feel inferior nor never permit slavery again.

Consequently, your duty is to honour their memory by educating ourselves and acting dignified to elevate our race.

Lena A. Gumbs

The Daily Herald

Copyright © 2020 All copyrights on articles and/or content of The Caribbean Herald N.V. dba The Daily Herald are reserved.

Without permission of The Daily Herald no copyrighted content may be used by anyone.

Comodo SSL

Hosted by

© 2024 The Daily Herald. All Rights Reserved.