Updated: Mar 9, 2021
What would you do if one day while at work you received a phone call from your babysitter or significant other informing you that your child had been picked up and sold to a stranger in another state? What if, to add to this disparaging moment, it was completely legal and you could not do anything about it? Or maybe your landlord came knocking on your door and said he/she had a guest that was interested in sleeping with your spouse? Neither you nor them were being asked, but told that this would take place. And if either of you attempted to fight back, refuse, or run, you’d be beaten within an inch of your life. Unfortunately, this is not some fabricated nightmare of a story; this was the reality of thousands of black slaves for centuries. This was the reality of my great-great grandparents.
If you’ve taken the time to read part 1 of this blog entry, you should remember that towards the end I made reference to the Willie Lynch letter. There is a very good reason why I did this, so I hope you’ve done your homework. The Willie Lynch letter is quite literally a documented guideline on how to breed and control Black slaves. The basis of this formula revolves around pitching several attributes of slaves against one another: young against old, light skinned against dark skinned, male against female, and female against male. Not only that, but what I feel is the focal point of this doctrine is how it goes into great detail regarding the process of instilling a kind of cycle of submission. He mentions first imparting a dependency in the female slave to her master, then breaking the man in front of the woman causing her dependency on him to become void, and finally impregnating the woman who (out of fear and the lack of protection from the man) will train her child to become docile and subservient to the slave master.
Before letting the information I just provided you sink in, there is another bit of evidence that I feel the need to share. In the beginning of this letter, Willie Lynch made a very hefty claim. He stated with some assurance that his method of “controlling a black slave” will control slaves for at least 300 years. Now, surely he did not mean to imply that the broken slaves would live for 300 years; his implication meant that this cycle would become so deeply rooted in the black community that it would become a part of its culture. The Willie Lynch letter was delivered in 1712; 300 years later was six years ago in 2012. So when I make reference to the slave mentality, the revelations of this letter is largely a part of it. The cycle of fear, oppression, repression and feelings of no way out was beaten into the black community from the very beginning.
Now in more recent times the Black community has been berated for the establishment and evolution of: The Black Panther Party, our celebration of Black History Month, the Black Lives Matter movement, and affirmative action. What is not recognized is why these events or organizations evolved to begin with. Think about it. The Black Panther Party’s original name was “Black Panther Party for Self-Defense”. The party's original purpose was to patrol African American neighborhoods to protect its residents from acts of police brutality. The title in itself gives the revelation of an undeniable example of cause and effect.
Black History Month was originally named “Negro History week”. Its initial purpose was to emphasize and encourage the coordinated teaching of the history of American Blacks in the nation's public schools. Especially in early years, the impact that Black people had on the advancement of America remained hidden, like a dirty secret. Peanut butter, caller ID, the fiber-optic cable, air conditioning, the home security system, the IBM computer, and even GIF’s all originate from Black (African) American minds. So unless a person took time to research the topic of inventions from Black Americans (especially before the stream of data was freely accessible on the web), this information was not made as readily available as say, Henry Ford and his contributions to modern transportation. Once again, cause and effect in its most apparent form.
The Black Lives Matter Movement is the effect of a cause that I still don’t understand necessity of an explanation for. Not only as a Black woman but as a mother, there is this lingering apprehension to leaving the welfare of me and mine in the hands of law enforcement. Now don’t get me wrong, I know and have dealt with some amazing individuals in law enforcement in my life. However, when children can be murdered in cold blood by those sworn to serve and protect, then receive not even a slap on the wrist for their actions…my apprehension outweighs my trust. When a wannabe vigilante is specifically told to stand down but proceeds to disperse his own form of justice on a young man minding his own business, then murder him and claim he was standing his ground and get off scott free, my trust in the justice system becomes very sketchy. This, unfortunately, is a very real cause and effect that has gripped more modern times.
Now, if we take the intended outcome of the Willie Lynch letter and assume that his 300 year estimation of its effect is accurate, we now have the perfect recipe for chaos and confusion in the 21st century. It’s been proven scientifically that, while we do have our own minds and free will, our DNA does retain inherited information (or epigenetics). With epigenetics, not only do we pass along a DNA sequence to our children, but we also pass along the epigenetic directives. In other words, information can be inherited and conveyed throughout generations. Well played Mr. Lynch (cue slow clap).
So, what do you do when you know the truth but the world thinks you're crazy? How does one respond to racism when a vast number are in denial regarding the very fact that it even exists? How can Black Americans just be Americans when we were excluded from having any equality from the very beginning, and our imminent servitude was always the plan? How can we, being descended from slaves who's very DNA was altered with the aid of whips and the hanging noose, demand respect from the world when we have to once again learn to start respecting ourselves? These are just a few things I plan on touching on in Never Forget the Forgotten (Part III). I hope you join me on this final leg of a journey that no American should ever forget.