As a respected blogger on issues of race and society, and someone's opinion I really value I'd like to ask you a question. A friend and I were discussing and while we agree that Black Americans continue to face systems of oppression we disagree on the term slave. I think it's disrespectful to call ourselves slaves today, considering the brutal history of slavery. What do you think of calling ourselves slaves? Is that not counter-intuitive to the progression that we have made since then?
I’m not sure if any of those very complimentary things you’ve said are remotely true, but I’ll take yes for an answer and say thank you, that’s really kind.
To be honest, I’m not sure exactly what you mean in that we’re literally not slaves. Like, we’ve never not had some modicum of freedom, whatever it’s limits and to describe our oppression in the same terms of those who actually were (or are) enslaved seems wholly inappropriate, not to mention incorrect in absolute terms. If you mean referring to former enslaved Africans being referred to as slaves, well, I’m not sure. I use the term, but I understand why people may find that offensive and would respect their opinion.
I also think there’s a thing about the term slave that makes people feel like there’s no dignity in being enslaved. Our ancestor were very dignified; survival is not easy, particularly in those circumstances, and I think that’s part of their legacy that we don’t fully respect.
I don’t know that I’ve made any sense above, but, alas, there it is.