Last week The New York Times published an article entitled, "In First Lady's Roots, a Complex Path From Slavery" by Rachel L. Swarns and Jodi Kantor. The article shined light on Michelle Obama's roots, dating back to the institution of slavery. Michelle’s genealogy exposes the true patchwork heritage of America.
While the article was riveting and acknowledged the strong ties America--black America--has to slavery, our first reaction to this article was, "no duh!" Do we actually think that either our society is so far removed from slavery that black heritage in America no longer traces back that far? Or is it shocking that our first lady’s heritage can be traced back to such an oppressive institution? We are all educated individuals who took 7th grade history--blacks in America are proof of the injustices of the triangle trade and the displacement of Africans. Granted, Michelle is a testament of how far America has come from the days that relied so heavily on slavery for economic growth. But calculate the years, struggles and continued struggles of blacks dating back to the 17th c.—our society is more connected to slavery than our first lady’s heritage has to suggest. Racial tensions, inadequate social and economic equality, and a legacy as second-rate, lives today in black America. Not very pc but let’s get real, the chains of slavery have taken on a new form. Write articles, discuss, discover, reveal these chains.