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"Who Told You We Were Slaves?"

Updated: Jul 3

By Dr. Gloria Latimore-Peace

Presented by Omni University



 "Ideas are weapons of war." Ancestor Dr. Conrad W. Worrill, on the "Roland Martin Unfiltered Show," June 2, 2020.


The title for this message was taken from Genesis 3:11 which reads, in part: "And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked?...". Adam's confession, in Genesis 3:10, that..."I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked: and I hid myself." seemed, in itself, to answer God's question. However, the questioning of   “nakedness” caught my attention as it  gave rise to other questions  about other ideas such as "slave”, “master.”


Except for the "Emancipation Proclamation," the  “slave-master ” concept is among "the greatest pieces of fiction ever created by our adversaries. Thus, it was in this context that the question arose: “Who Told [Us] We were Slaves?”


The answer  to the latter question began to evolve  as the former one was examined  more closely, i,e., How can the idea of "nakedness" be conceived in the "Garden of Eden", an isolated place which is inhabited by only two humans neither of whom could have any concept of “rainment?”


There can be no basis for the idea of either “clothed" or "unclothed" when neither Adam nor Eve has ever experienced being clothed? Therefore,"nakedness" could not be assumed to be a reality about which either should be “ashamed.” After all, since it was not The Creator who introduced the notion of “ nakedness, who else was there in a position - or with the authority-  to impose a generational curse on our ancestors?


According to  biblical accounts, Canaan, one of the sons of Ham, was cursed, by his own grandfather, Noah, to be "a servant of servants to his brethren" because Ham had looked on his father's "nakedness."[1]  However, since   the notions of  “nakedness” and “servitude” ,i.e. ”slave” are  outside the realm of their experience,  it is self -evident that such concepts were unthinkable. Besides , if God didn't condemn “ nakedness,” who gave Noah permission  to do it? Furthermore, since Black people were born and lived as free, autonomous human beings, they had  no way to know-or be- unfree , subservient, or  “sub-human.”


These two examples make it clear that it would be a travesty to allow these ideas- and the sources from which they attempt to derive their legitimacy-  to go  “unlooked,” as Ancestor Rasheed Akbar would say. 


It should not be surprising that human life began in  Africa, the "southern cradle"[2], the proverbial"Garden of Eden", wherein "all of the good things of nature"[3] we're in abundant supply. It was in this "cradle” that African life, which was abundantly nourished, lived free and unencumbered by any notions of “slave” or “master.” What is surprising, however, is that our adversaries- who were late comers on the planet- had the audacity to identify us, their predecessors, as  everything but Who We are . However, what is NOT surprising is the fact that so many of us have succumbed to adopting  these labels  as though they are valid.


It should not be surprising that human life began in  Africa, the "southern cradle"[2], the proverbial"Garden of Eden", wherein "all of the good things of nature"[3] we're in abundant supply. It was in this “cradle” that African life, which was abundantly nourished, lived free and unencumbered by any notions of “slave” or “master”. What is surprising, however, is that our adversaries- who were late comers on the planet- had the audacity to identify us, their predecessors, as  everything but Who We are . However, what is NOT surprising is the fact that so many of us have succumbed to adopting  these labels  as though they are valid.


The rest would have remained his-story had it not been challenged by those of our Ancestors who had "drunk deeply from the fountain of [Our] Black culture, Sat at the knee of and learned from Mother Africa..."4. These cultural, spiritual ,and intellectual warriors [5] have made and continue to make it clear that our Ancestors , who came into being as free Black people, were  kidnapped from our Motherland and forced into captivity  in lands that had been stolen from others.[6] These “crimes against humanity” were exacerbated by a prolonged and brutal process of atrocities that became known as “seasoning,” which was designed to de-humanize our forebears and alienate them from their land, language; culture, and  kinship  group(s) in order  to convert  them [7] from Kunta Kinte into "Toby"[8].   


In addition to these "crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages,"[9] were those committed in the course of the innumerable and relentless efforts  to  de-humanize our  African Ancestors and descendants  by classifying Us as “commodities,” i.e.,  “property” to be sold  to the highest bidders- the self-appointed "slave masters" in the  “slave-market place”


Yet, the truth remains: “Where there are no "slaves," there can be no "masters." Human beings cannot be “cursed” into bondage any more than they can be “proclaimed” out of it. They do not become “slaves" as a consequence of being fraudulently identified as such on a piece of paper. Nor can  human beings be “emancipated” by a piece of paper. Human beings who are forced into captivity and “claimed” as the “property” of their so- called “owners” continue to remain human beings are captives-not “slaves”- and their kidnappers are  captors- not their “masters.” Irregardless of their claims, the relationship between captors and captives is not one of superiors vs inferiors. It is, instead, a predator/ prey -or more precisely - a parasites/ host relationship.  It is impossible to find any real value in an “ “Emancipation Proclamation” that leaves human beings stranded with neither a “pot nor a window” or any material means, whatsoever, to sustain  themselves. 


By now, we should know that  free human beings who were forced into bondage were   not  “slaves”. Having been repeatedly told  the truth of our heritage we know our  “emancipation” did not include the promised “40 acres and a mule.” To the contrary, we were the people “upon whose backs and labors have been built the wealth of  the continents of Europe. Africa, and America…”[10] The very qidea that the labor of human beings could be exploited for the benefit of others to their own detriment has it origin  in a “world[view]  of biased laws and inhuman practices.” (11) It is encumbent upon us, as it was following our so - called “emancipation,” to make a way out of no way, i.e., to  emancipate ourselves, once and for all. To paraphrase  Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. et al, “ No one is going to free  Us  but Us”! 


We must never lose sight of the fact that the “Dredd Scott Decision” of 1857 has never been rescinded and is still the “law of the land.”


“Blacks have) for more than a century...been regarded as beings of an inferior order... and so far unfit that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect." U.S. Chief Justice Roger B. Taney in Scott v. Sanford, 1857. [12]


What we need now- perhaps, more than ever before- is to liberate ourselves from the false ideas inculcated in us by our adversaries. It is  imperative that we re-member our true identity, the Divine Source from Whom we came forth into being. It is we, ourselves, who must break the psychological chains that obscure our vision of ourselves as human beings created in the image and likeness of God.


"My feet have felt the sands of many nations, I have drunk the water Of many springs, I am old, Older than the Pyramids, I am older than the race That oppresses me, I will live on… I will outlive oppression, I will outlive oppressors…" John Henrik Clarke, Determination, 1948


“And ye shall.know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”John 8:32 KJV


BlogNotes:


*Formerly known as "Our Daily Blog


[1] Genesis 9:22-27 


[2] "The African Origin of Civilization.. " by Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop 


[3] "Facing Mt. Kenya" by Jomo Kenyatta 


[4]"What Shall I Tell My Children Who Are Black..." by Dr. Margaret T. G. Burroughs 


[5] Intellectual Warriors/Ancestors Priest Dr. Jacob H. Carruthers; Dr. John G. Jackson; Dr. John Henrik Clarke; Dr. Josef Ben Jochannon;Harriet Tubman” Dr. Josef Ben Jochannon; Dr. Chancellor Williams : Dr. Frances Cress Welsing ; Dr. Patricia A. Newton; Dr. Amos Wilson; Toni Morrison Ida B. Wells ,et al, ad infinitum…


[6] "The Race: Matters Concerning. Pan Afrikan History, Culture & Genocide" Edited by Kiarri T.H. Cheatwood  


[7] "Language: Colonizer of the Mind" ( Unpublished Masters Thesis) by Gloria J. Latimore.


Op cit  "We Were Never Slaves:..." (upcoming book) by Hunter Havelin Adams III


[8]"Roots" by Alex Haley 


[9] "What to a Slave Is the Fourth of July?" Speech by Ancestor Frederick Douglass+


[10] Dr. Margaret T.G. Burroughs. “What Shall I Tell My Children Who Are Black?...” in Life with Margaret: The Official  Autobiography By Dr. Margaret T. G. Burroughs 


[11] “op cit. Burroughs 


[12] Paul Finkleman.Dred Scott v. Sandford: a Brief History with Documents 


Recommended Reading: 

Dr. Walter A. McCray. The Black Presence in the Bible: Discovering the Black and African Identity of Biblical Persons and Nations.


Samuel W. Mitcham, Jr. It Wasn't About Slavery: Exposing the Great Lie of the Civil War. 


Recommended Viewing: 

“From the Label to the Fable” Featuring: Hunter Havlin Adams III


“The Greatest Frame-up”, Featuring: Hunter Havlin Adams III 


“Who Are You Calling a Slave?”, Featuring Hunter Havlin Adams, III


“Caught in the  ACT ” The African Captive Trade”, Featuring: Gimbu Kali


H3O Art of Life Shows are also available at any time by clicking on the link to the h3o art of  life YouTube channel that follows:


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