Saturday, June 6, 2015

Reading slavery/liberation

We began the week by reading about slavery and liberation. We started with readings about slave ships. In particular, we checked out an excerpt from Marcus Rediker's The Slave Ship: A Human History.

A good discussion as always. We talked about about the importance of thinking about slavery and struggles for liberation, about resistance and oppression.

A couple of student comments concerning The Slave Ship readings:
The slave trade highlights the most embarrassing time period in the history of our world, where power and corruption took a front seat over human rights and basic human decency. While the masses were able to sleep well at night by closing their eyes to the atrocities of the slave trade, the profiteers rose to the highest positions in government in order to have the power to encourage the longevity of the practice. The brutal slave ship mentality that treated millions of human beings as if they were property, bought and sold, leaves us wondering if it was worth the suffering in any way, as we try to figure out how our [European] ancestors were any different from the sharks that circled the slave ships in hopes of an easy meal. --Jay H.


"Another White man…tried to grope her”(The Slave Ship, 3).

At the intersection of race and gender in the context of slavery, the Black woman’s body is doubly possessed—first, in bondage; second, as a sexual object. Though slavery no longer exists in the incarnation that it did in the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries during the transatlantic slave trade, Black women’s bodies are still up for grabs (literally) and always made a point of discussion. They are always up for comment. They are continually hypersexualized. And because of a Black woman’s features, people (outsiders) always assume they have access to her body—be it her hair, her skin, her curves. --Ayesha M.

AALCI 2015


No comments: