Book: I Am Not A Slave

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[Book Review]

It is not white people that are your worst enemy, it is the ignorance and fear of what they will do that is your worst enemy
-- Minister Louis Farrakhan on the Arsenio Hall Show

There are tons of books on race out there. Some well-known, some rather obscure.

I tend to choose what I consider the best from among both categories in order to get the book talked about and help circulate dialogue on matters that need to be talked about the most. There has been lots of discussion on race but the problem of race continues on. When this happens, you can rest assured something within the discussion is not being addressed.

Author Eugene LaCorbiniere feels "America and other countries have not had to listen to Black people because the Black communities around the world have not said we are worth saving."

Therefore he saw the need to write "I Am Not a Slave." It's not hard to understand anyway, I feel as long as we fail to overcome saying "what shall we do," then we'll always have an excuse to not do anything.

This is not a book about or by one of the legendary Black leaders like Nat Turner, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass, Marcus Garvey, George Washington Carver, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Medgar Evers, Thurgood Marshall, Huey Newton, Bobby Seal, Angela Davis, or Mumia Abu-Jamal.

Here's a brother who wrote a book about you and me. Actually LaCorbiniere was wondering one day how could these ancestors and luminaries get us through their respective periods and navigate us around, by and through white supremacy, while at the same time, deal with our trifling asses.

It seems our most pressing desire is wanting change without pain. "Slave" tells us to prepare to get uncomfortable. This book was specifically written to counter a book from long ago by a Caribbean slave owner whose existence is of late is being denied by some Black pundits; "The Making of a Slave," by Willy Lynch. I actually confess to being the biggest slave because this copy was sent to me for review by a former newspaper publisher and good friend over a year-and-half ago.

Anyway, Lynch-for a guy who didn't really ever exist, according to some Black thinkers-got his idea of how to divide African slaves around pretty well. He went to DC and presented this to Congress and they liked it. The rest is an ongoing reality show.
LaCorbinariere talks a lot about Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome and how after slavery Whites left us to feed on each other: "What we knew so long ago, but have chosen to forget and pretend doesn't exist today is that the majority of the white community in the US, UK, Caribbean, and around the world, simply don't like black folks to any real degree. Many may tolerate and endure our presence, work, skills, attitudes and personalities, but true friendship and love between blacks and whites for the most part is an illusion...Why are we forcing ourselves on other races?"

This supposed "forcing ourselves on other races" is really a post-slavery, post-civil rights era dream that has been stretched out of proportion by wide margins, thanks to a legion of old-school Black Church proponents dusting their knees off in spiritual, ritual and socially reconcilable teachings.

What did they accomplish? Made us more predictable: "We were studied and researched, our communities probed and infiltrated in order to determine the best approach for the continued dismemberment of the black man, woman and child's mind, body and soul."

Most devastating were the findings.

"Slave" goes into current Black street-corner false pride or machismo among young boys and leaves no room for their failed philosophies: "Too many black men think it's macho to have multiple children from multiple women. Having multiple children doesn't make you any more of a man than a horse used for breeding makes it any more of a horse."

In the suburbs you have what many call soccer moms: mostly-White housewives or divorced mothers, many of whom --or their husbands— come to work and drain the Black community of more resources. Young Black women by default become basketball moms; abandoned mothers who may or may not work, but many of their "babies" drain the Black community of more resources.

"It was found that we are a much-separated people and that we really didn't like each other to any degree,” writes the author.
“... It was found that with almost any kind of intrinsic positive reinforcement, with self-fulfilment as a motivator, a black man or woman would turn on each other in an instant... to turn around and use these flaws against us was insane, evil and unforgivable."

I believe this book is in its second printing with much needed editing improvements. If you feel Black people today are worth saving, then go to your local Black-owned book store and purchase a copy of "I Am Not a Slave."

It would also make a great gift to middle and high school children from family and educators.



Stevenson is a syndicated columnist; his articles also appear in the Buffalo Challenger. Follow him on Twitter & Face book.

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