National Black Book Festival

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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Black Kindle - 12 Years a Slave - Michael Baisden

I did see the movie.  I was upset and cried like a baby.  I wish I could put into words what I saw, but I don't need to, Mr. Baisden did it for me. Read on, read on.....


Michael Baisden - I woke up in the middle of the night still troubled by the images I had seen in the movie, 12 Years A Slave. I couldn’t get the scenes out of my mind of the families being torn apart and auctioned off to different plantations; mother and child and brother and sister never to see each other again. As my eyes slowly opened... slightly watery I played back the horrific sound of the slave masters whip as it tore the flesh off the black female character’s back. The sight of the blood shooting profusely from her body made my blood boil. I was pissed!

But my anger wasn’t only for the institution of slavery or the cruel slave masters that raped, tortured, and murdered our people, my disdain was focus mainly on those black and brown people who don’t realize we are still enslaved…in many ways worse than legalized slavery.

Instead of black families being tore apart at the auction block millions of black men and women are voluntarily walking away from their children leaving them vulnerable to being rape, molested, and imprisoned. There is no need for plantations where we pick cotton or mine coal in the relentless summer heat, those industries have been replaced by “For Profit” prisons were the government pays corporate slave masters 60,000 a year to lock away poor black and brown people for many more years than whites for the same crime and then contract them out to other greedy corporations to earn higher profits.

So what’s worse, a system of slavery where we are forced to be violent, ignorant, and stab each other in the back, or a system where we voluntarily kill one another, abandon our children, and refuse to read a book? You tell me!

What was most disturbing was that the story of Solomon Northup being kidnapped and sold into slavery was a true tale. He was one of many thousands, the majority of who would never see freedom or their families again. Most of them died breaking their backs eighteen hours a day in horrendous conditions. It took him 12 years in the worse conditions imaginable to finally make it home. But you and I have the freedom today to stop this madness and start working together as a people to improve our social and economic condition. But we seem unwilling or unable to do so, and to me, that’s worse than slavery!

And we wonder why other races don’t respect us. We waste our valuable resources trying to keep up with the Joneses, we as black men disrespect our women, in frustration our women shout, “I don’t need a man!”, we abandon our children out of selfishness, and we refuse to pool our resources together and instead beg other races for employment and money to educate our children. That’s worse than slavery!

I tried to go back to sleep but as you can see from the time of this post at 6:15 am, I was unable to. I couldn’t help thinking about the nearly empty theater I sat in to watch this amazing film. With the exception of the people I invited, teacher Mr. Wheeler, and the 20 young men we mentor at Evans High School the majority of people in attendance were white. How in the hell can we expect to move forward when we are too lazy or ashamed to acknowledge our own history and pay tribute to those who made it possible for us to be here? And that, to me, is worse than physically slavery; it’s mental slavery! Wake up people, the fight is not over!


But my anger wasn’t only for the institution of slavery or the cruel slave masters that raped, tortured, and murdered our people, my disdain was focus mainly on those black and brown people who don’t realize we are still enslaved…in many ways worse than legalized slavery.

Instead of black families being tore apart at the auction block millions of black men and women are voluntarily walking away from their children leaving them vulnerable to being rape, molested, and imprisoned. There is no need for plantations where we pick cotton or mine coal in the relentless summer heat, those industries have been replaced by “For Profit” prisons were the government pays corporate slave masters 60,000 a year to lock away poor black and brown people for many more years than whites for the same crime and then contract them out to other greedy corporations to earn higher profits.

So what’s worse, a system of slavery where we are forced to be violent, ignorant, and stab each other in the back, or a system where we voluntarily kill one another, abandon our children, and refuse to read a book? You tell me!

What was most disturbing was that the story of Solomon Northup being kidnapped and sold into slavery was a true tale. He was one of many thousands, the majority of who would never see freedom or their families again. Most of them died breaking their backs eighteen hours a day in horrendous conditions. It took him 12 years in the worse conditions imaginable to finally make it home. But you and I have the freedom today to stop this madness and start working together as a people to improve our social and economic condition. But we seem unwilling or unable to do so, and to me, that’s worse than slavery!

And we wonder why other races don’t respect us. We waste our valuable resources trying to keep up with the Joneses, we as black men disrespect our women, in frustration our women shout, “I don’t need a man!”, we abandon our children out of selfishness, and we refuse to pool our resources together and instead beg other races for employment and money to educate our children. That’s worse than slavery!

I tried to go back to sleep but as you can see from the time of this post at 6:15 am, I was unable to. I couldn’t help thinking about the nearly empty theater I sat in to watch this amazing film. With the exception of the people I invited, teacher Mr. Wheeler, and the 20 young men we mentor at Evans High School the majority of people in attendance were white. How in the hell can we expect to move forward when we are too lazy or ashamed to acknowledge our own history and pay tribute to those who made it possible for us to be here? And that, to me, is worse than physically slavery; it’s mental slavery! Wake up people, the fight is not over!