Initially this blog was entitled, Independence Day. Why, because my life as a Neophyte entrepreneur has a certain freedom that is invigorating and scary, in equal measure. I had nearly completed the post when my phone died. As I was waiting for my phone to charge to return to the post, I thought about this tweet I re-tweeted today. I just need to go the hell off for a hot minute.
The LA Times reported recently that publisher, McGraw-Hill has agreed to reprint a geography book that referred to slaves as “immigrants” and that my ancestors came over to “work.” (http://www.latimes.com/books/jacketcopy/la-et-jc-texas-textbook-calls-slaves-immigrants-20151005-story.html)
Immigrants…IMMIGRANTS, are you flipping kidding me with this??!? I don’t do cruises now cause I see what happened the last time my people got caught up on a boat.
They, the publisher, stated on a Facebook post, “[W]e conducted a close review of the content and agree that our language in that caption did not adequately convey that Africans were both forced into migration and to labor against their will as slaves,” the post read. “We believe we can do better.” Do better…THIS SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN DONE AT ALL! This company is in the wordsmith business and this printing was edited, fact checked and deemed ok?? Unbelievable! This edition is out in the world for children to be taught a boldface lie.
I am a descendant of one of the 20 percent that wasn’t shark kibble because my ancestors had the mental fortitude to survive. I am a descendant of those who were stolen from their homeland, stripped of their language, traditions and families and survived the heinous conditions of having to live in their feces, while shackled and sleep next to their dead loved ones on ships named Integrity, Freedom and Justice. I am the descendant of ancestors who had the physical strength to build this country FOR FREE and the INTEGRITY, beyond circumstance, to display grace in all things cast upon them in a most UNJUST manner. Their lives mattered!
They were not workers. They had no FREEDOM to speak in their native tongue, to procreate with those of their choosing, to rear their children. They were SLAVES. It was SLAVERY. This is a generations old genocide that continues to ravage a race of people-many of whom have no self respect and no regard for their life or that of others. Why, because they have no foundation, no culture, no heritage. My Granny used to say, “when you know whose you are, you know who your are.” Sure there is black culture. However, where did it come from…the tactics my ancestors used to survive…slavery. What we eat, the church hymns we still sing, the English language we speak, are part of the culture and “heritage” my ancestors cobbled together from slavery so that I and generations unborn would have SOME traditions, but many are not African traditions. Therefore, into perpetuity, African Americans will live without an authentic heritage. Had this been an account of the Holocaust, would it have been minimalized? I would venture a guess, NOPE! Why, because the Jewish community would not stand for it. Why, because they know who they are, their history, and their heritage and will protect it under all costs. Don’t distort, omit and lie about the genocide that was and that continues psychologically.
I applaud the son and the mother for calling the publishing house to task. Shenanigans like this should not be minimalized. My peeps, don’t be lulled into a false sense of freedom and equality. As my Granny used to say, “if you don’t know your history, you(your descendants) are doomed to repeat it.” McGraw-Hill, while I appreciate that you are taking steps to correct this, this has ramifications that go way beyond an oopsey daisy. DO, DO BETTER, consistently. Words are power.
That being said, I felt a sense of freedom today as an entrepreneur because I realized I have some control over my craft, unlike working for a company. I have been a bit unsure of what I wanted to post each day…tips or inspiration for encore entrepreneurs, which is what I had been doing the last several days or using this real estate as a complementary medium for work I am currently writing. Well, now that my pressure is back to normal after saying my peace, I have a better idea of how I am going to utilize this space.
As an Encore Performer, I have lived long enough to know, waiting on the McGraw-Hill’s of the world to “do better” is an exercise in futility. I stand on the shoulders of those 20% and with pen to paper I have the FREEDOM to “do better.”