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ID:	16972 Dr. Amos N. Wilson was a theoretical psychologist, social theorist, Pan-African thinker, scholar and author.


By Dr. Amos Wilson

I’m often somewhat amused and taken aback by the number of people in this society who claim that slavery occurred somewhere back then…and that the experience of slavery is not supposed to be operating in the mentality of black folks. You hear a lot of youngsters saying that as well.

“Why do you talk about slavery? That was back there.”

Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve never escaped slavery. We still share the slave consciousness of our great-great-grandparents. We are of the same mind to a great extent that they were. We have not advanced beyond these people.

How can I say that? I generally ask a series of questions. You say that slavery has nothing to do with you and that slavery was back there.

I ask you what language do you speak? When did you learn that language? Was that the language African people were speaking when we were taken into slavery in America? In other words, the language we speak at this moment is a slave language.

The language that our slave ancestors were forced to learn. And we still speak it and you can still hear the pidgin, the Creole and the other kinds of stuff in our language right now. That language, with its words defined by history and by experience, is the language we use today to guide our behavior. It’s the language we use today to talk to ourselves.

It’s the language we use today to learn about ourselves and to learn about the world. It’s the language we use to try to understand ourselves. Is there no wonder then that we are still confused? So we have not escaped slavery because we are still using a slave language, and we speak the language of slaves.

What kind of food do you eat? You say, “soul food”? Was that the food of African people? Slave food. The food that we find most satisfying. The food that we find that sticks to our ribs. The food that we call “down home”.

A food that we learned to eat in the quarters.

And yet we dare say that we have escaped slavery. That we have nothing to do with those people back there. When our whole very social life and social relationships, our very definition of ourselves as a people, our very attempt to commune with ourselves is mediated by the food of slaves. How can you say you exist in a different consciousness from another people?

What kind of uniforms are we wearing? What kind of clothes are we wearing? Were these the clothes of African people? This is what we’ve got to look at.

What kind of names do we respond to? What kind of names do we identify with? Why is it that African names sound strange to us now as a people? And yet we dare say we have a different consciousness from our great-grandparents. How can we say that?

We are still in the same consciousness and we are still in the same position.

Because we are still servants of the white man, and our reason for being in America is to serve white folks and to generate wealth for them. And there has been no change at all in terms of our relationship to these people.

Thanks for Reading the words of our late great warrior scholar!