The author believes that for us to be able to understand the nature of our current problems, and be able to deal with them, it is necessary for us to take a look at the books of history in the times of slavery. In his first chapter, in this essay, he proves the psychological effect of slavery to the current generation of the African-American race by quoting William (Willie) Lynch, who was a well know slave trader. In Willies speech, which he delivered in 1712, he discussed the slave making strategy; where he boasts that the plan he has is guaranteed and if used intensely for one year, the slaves themselves will remain continually distrustful.
A statement that was made over three hundred years ago is being seen to have backing, looking into the mental and social lives of the current generations African-Americans. In terms of work, the author says that for most African-Americans, to them work is tied to slavery, even the slang they use to refer to work in our present day is “slave”. This just simply goes to prove the painful attachment that most of them have towards work.
This can be justified by connecting the situation of work during the time of slavery. The kind of work that they were submitted to did not bring them any good or benefit, it only brought them suffering and more suffering for that matter. The work they did then in comparison to the kind of work being done now did not bring them income. However, it only brought their masters income, and they were not paid in kind but were paid by being given a couple of lashes to work harder. This has seen most African-Americans rooting for simpler ways of getting money. You will find that most of them will opt to gamble or enter those get rich quick schemes.
Most African-Americans, would rather work for others i.e. be employed than get an organization of their own by working harder. This idea of having to work under the supervision of someone else perceived to be better can easily be equated to the slavery situation where they are always working under someone else who has managed to impose the idea that they are better off than them. Therefore, they will prefer to work under a “superior” to them and get the minimal wage that gives them an illusion of freedom and leisure.
During slavery, the only thing that most slaves had in their possession was the property of family. They were not allowed to be owners of anything since they were owned by the slave owners. This gave most of the slaves a passion for protecting and caring for family and guarding it with all that you have. In our present society, we see that the African-Americans, highly esteem the idea of having a family. Because this is basically what most can identify as their property where they have rights.
In the question as to whether I believe the writers opinion on the notion behind slavery and the current work issues faced by the African-Americans, I agree. This is because in every situation there is always the root cause of it. In most cases, when we are born our parents/ guardian will influence more than half the things we believe in, and the rest will be filled by the deductions we make from our everyday life. Therefore, I believe that in the African-American lineage, there has been the passing down of information from one generation to the other with regards to work and this has shaped their pattern of thinking when it comes to work.
In his second chapter, the author speaks of liberation from mental slavery. Dr. Akbar, goes on to point out that amongst all living creatures, only human beings use their self-conscience or what we know about ourselves to reason as compared to the other animals that use instinct. However, it is evident that, what we know about ourselves is that which we have been told about ourselves. I believe in this argument because that which you have been told will determine how you perceive yourself, and how you perceive yourself will determine the kind of goals that you have in your life.
Therefore, in the situation of African-Americans, it has always been perceived that they are not smart enough to do some things in this life like read and go to college. Therefore, most of them have grown to believe that school is not important since they are basically not good at it. In the past during slavery, they did more of manual jobs, and in looking in our present day context, you will find that they will opt to do more handy jobs than those that require your intellect.
Therefore, for them to be able to deal with these issues in their present day life it will be important for them to change their perception of themselves, and the moment their perception changes, the ripple effect will be a shift in their thinking and they will start thinking big while aiming for the sky as opposed to reducing themselves to only doing manual work or rooting for the easiest ways out which will not have any fulfillment in the long run that always leaves them living hand to mouth with that which they earn.
In chapter three the author writes about the racial religious inquiry and psychological confusion. Psychological scholars and students haven’t completely dealt with the influence that the religious symbols and imagery on the reasoning of most people. Taking an example of the particular description of the creator is probably one of the most destructive notions in the world. He discusses how one being portrayed in the likeness of God gives them a the idea that their physical features give them some form of divinity, while those who are not compatible with the characteristics described of God feel inferior to those who have similar features to God.
This has seen many African-American biblical scholars try to prove that in fact; God if not black was most certainly a person of color. However, the writer challenges these scholars to instead, put to test, that which they have come to unconsciously come to believe is the actual image of God.
I agree with the author because this will bring them to the realization that, it is only because of slavery, and that they came to the belief that God’s image is of a certain kind. This is also true because, when you analyze the relationship that existed between masters and their servants, was the same thing which most African- Americans have between them and God. They perceive God to be a superior being who has all the answers to the world and owns everything in it. Just like the slaves who believed that their masters had everything you can imagine and they therefore made them a deity.
Therefore, in my opinion, in the quest to come up with proper solutions that deal with the current problems faced by African-American society, with regards to how they perceive themselves and their abilities, it is necessary to deal with the root cause. This can be done so by educating them and making they understand that they are in a new era whereby, they are not pinned down by anything other than their minds. Therefore, they need to free themselves from the slavery of their minds.