You Hushed All My Black Men
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You Hushed All My Black Men

Whispered Don't Say A Word

You Hushed All My Black Men

This semester I enrolled in a Black Sexuality course, that reviews the topics and underlying messages in passages centered around it. Recently while reading “The Sexual Abuse of Black Men Under American Slavery,” I was introduced to an explicit account between a slave man and woman. In this account a master forced his male slaves to rape females, and if he hesitated or rejected this order they would both be killed.

I remember feeling my pulse quicken as I continued to read these accounts, disturbing images scratched the walls of my imagination, and I could only feel small knowing much time has passed and someones pain was now just a text to read over in class. I don't understand it! My professor says the anger I feel after being exposed to such knowledge is from "blood memory," a nice term I suppose. However, it's easier to get upset from blood memory then being the slave who's blood was shed from insertion.

See masters rejoiced and found pleasure in the humiliation of Black people and their sexuality. To them a Black slave could not be a man, because a man would be able to protect his woman from rape. The very rape that they themselves were forcing the slave woman into. Yet they thought of themselves as men, because they had power and the ability to hold someones life over their head if they chose to disobey. Slavery violated the masculinity of black men, and it took a wide variety of forms for example penetration, coercion, and reproduction. There is just this huge juxtaposition between Anglo-Americans and Africans, because the black body was seen as “beastly, ugly, and unappealing.” So this posed a question for me “If Black people are so un-enticing, why does America have this obsession with us and our sexuality?” We can’t be so disgusting to look at that someone still wants to violate us, it makes no sense.

I do not deny that my black men are strong, but they carry a heavy burden on their shoulders from pasts that have always been hidden. I will never know what it is like to be told that my emotions make me weak, or to live a life that coincides crying to a lack of strength. I feel my ancestral memory and although painful, women are more prone to talking about rape because the whole world has exposed us to it.

But that my friend is false, men, my black men were exposed to it too...

And I'm sorry

I asked myself when reading “Beloved,” why I wouldn't allow myself to see the black man violated. When Foster gave me examples, why did I still shift in my chair as if I was embarrassed with this information. I wonder if my black men cried after, and I am ashamed to know that I hope they didn’t. Slavery was a lot more than just chains, whips, work, and cotton....

You forced my brother to bend his back, and made my sister lay on hers; but almighty slave master is the true man. The honest man. The Just man. I find that funny.

How easy it is to stand tall when everyone beneath is lifting you up...

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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