The Theft of the Black-American

Though the knowledge of every negative, appalling, or demeaning nook and craning the enslaved African endured some odd 300 plus years ago cannot be obtained; familiarity with its existence is recognized. The account can be registered as the first theft of the “Black-American”. The “Black-American” is referred to as the stolen race of enslaved African descendants who have never lived in Africa and transitioned into becoming Americans once legally allowed. I believe the term “African-American” is disrespectful to those individuals who are African and came to America on free-will hence becoming “African-Americans”. The depth of this thievery deserves its own topic but serves at the point of reference in which the “Black-American” became disoriented and accustomed to being stolen. The lack of acknowledgement, remorse, and continuance of doing so is a major factor in today’s society that is rarely discussed or recognized.

During the process of slavery, numerous various accounts of theft would occur; some of the most significant portrayals that would disrupt, disorganize, and devalue a race, community, and human population that was African but destined to become the “Black-American”. Theft-by-taking, an illegal crime in the United States, to be considered felony theft as life is definitely more valuable than $500. Slavery wreaked-havoc on the African who became the “Black-American”: Theft of their sons and daughters; theft of their identity, cultures, and values. The stolen exhibit of their sexual being, genitalia, rights and preference according to. The unimaginable theft of life.

Resourcefulness, perseverance, and adaptability were qualities of the African brought to America that would prove to advance within the lineage of those who would become the “Black-American”. Due to these type qualities, naturally leaders among the “Black-American” would emerge. Leaders that would attempt to liberate, unite, as well as empower the “Black-American”. Distinction that would encourage the ‘theft of life’ a display that translates from first accounts to now. A robbery experienced by leaders like Nat Turner, who was hanged due to accusation of leading a rebellion against slave owners, Martin Luther King, Jr. who was assassinated due to disgust over him leading numerous civil rights movements, protests, and progressing the “Black-American” forward peacefully as well as Tupac Amaru Shakur, a hip-hop leader responsible for new-age “Black-American” empowerment murdered in what remains to be a conspiracy theory, among others.

The theft of the “Black-American” transpires today whether through major corporations committing cultural appropriation, the requirement of the “Black-American to conduct themselves in the same manner of that as a “White-American”, or with the revived trend of authority-lynching of the “Black-American” male. Like most things that the ”Black-American” creates out of oppression, happiness, or just shear genius to express themselves or entertain; after popularity is gained and the opportunity to receive sizeable profit is learned, it is in some form taken, re-packaged, and distributed by those in position with resources to do so. No different than blues, jazz, or popular soul acts in the past, Hip-Hop was once a shunned underground expression of black youth, power, and self-love, something many within the “Black-American” culture did not even accept. The regressed form of the culture has now become one of the most popular, imitated, and falsely proclaimed marketing gimmicks of a music-genre in the world. What started as a new-found outlet for the “Black-American” expression of style, proclamation of location or region of America in which one was from, and exchange of life stories, dreams, or thoughts in today’s world is now a $billion business that the artist, producers, and other talent who participate, are involved in, or make-up only get a percentage of and also are only allowed to own certain aspects of their work, if any. The scenario, deserving of its own topic as well, paints the horrific illustration while providing a relevant example of the theft that is cultural appropriation plaguing the “Black-American” for decades.

Broken English, according to American education systems — an illiterate community with afresh tradition and customs is what the “Black-American” faced as their centuries of enslaved damnation came to an end and their transition into equality began. There was a time in this process where the “Black-American” found power in cohering, unifying, and coming together to create wealth, education, and social presence within themselves. The offspring of historical black colleges and universities (HBCUs), churches, and businesses were birthed. Another notion stolen; one of the more well-known occurrences of theft in this regard being the Tulsa, Oklahoma bombing in 1921 of what was then known as “Black Wall Street”. “Black Wall Street” — an all-black community consisting of successful businesses, churches, banks, schools, libraries and even a bus system was bombed from the air and burned to the ground taking 3,000 lives with the loss of 600 successful businesses (Brown, G. 1994). The theft of the Black-American’s mental stability with centuries of verbal, physical, and mental abuse relating to the notion of their race being less than, existence in society worthless, and their God-given physical attributes and genetic make-up being described as “ugly”, “beastly”, or “grotesque” is evident with repercussions being displayed today. The continuing conviction that the “Black-American must adhere to the way in which the “White-American acts, talks, or lives in order to be accepted, survive, or even at times gain employment is also relevant today and contributes to “the theft of the Black-American”.

Recent slain blacks in America at the hands of figures placed in authority has become a trend. A trend that adds to the list of theft the “Black-American” has to endure. In these times, the three attributes mentioned previously must be remembered; resourcefulness, perseverance, and adaptability. The narrative is not to issue blame, condemn, or judge another but more-so to bring awareness of the thefts, that all can acquire knowledge to as a whole assess the situation and perform better efforts moving forward. If not, the victims of recent theft like Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Tamir Rice, Eddie Gray, and Sandra Bland, to name only a precious few, will be in vain as of the past.

To the “Black-American” who carries these thefts in your heart, the stolen memories in your soul, and the occurrences of robbery on your back; I say, use it as a fueling power for change. Every day that you live there is opportunity to make what is wrong, right. As I will always believe the first step in everything is togetherness. The power of unity is inevitable and has to be proven to be the common denominator in successful attempts. “Coming together” is not only referring to, neither is this statement to discredit instances, of protests when injustices of blacks in America happen but encourages the various communities of blacks in America to find ways to support each other financially, mentally, and spiritually. The idea is not a Utopia, as it has been done before, refer back to and engage research on the “Black Wall Street”.

-R. Collier

References

Brown, G. (1994). Retrieved from http://www.blackwallstreet.freeservers.com/The%20Story.htm