Analogizing Slavery

Ed’s Note: With Black In America 2 infiltrating your living rooms, we’ve kinda kept a race theme to the TMCY. Today, we don’t stop. Stuff Educated Black People Like was one of the hottest things on these here Internets in Spring 2008. I designed the header for that site and actually got the chance to guest post. Here’s my entry.

All educated black people loathe speaking about work away from the office. They prefer to only do so while on the clock, so they are compensated for their bitching. There is one exception, though.

This is when educated black people take the opportunity to analogize slavery. Ask an educated black person how work is going and you’re guaranteed one of two responses: the why-would-you-ever-ask-this-question, two-word response, “It’s work” or “They’re working me like a slave.”

The sushi sign behind my frat brothers stepping was unintentional, yet great irony. Educated black people do love sushi and stepping.

The sushi sign behind my frat brothers stepping was unintentional, yet great irony. Educated black people do love sushi and stepping.

If said educated black person is having an extremely tough day, the EBP will add an adjective to slave and say “they’re working me like a Hebrew slave.” Be wary of further questioning. This will breech a levee, and lead to said black person comparing their offices to plantations and their bosses to slave masters.

This is because all educated black people feel a sincere link to their oppressed descendants ancestors who would not die on slave ships. Educated black people, for good reason, will not allow themselves or white people, no matter how much they want, to forget the ills of slavery.

There isn’t one educated black person who won’t compare the NFL, its owners, upper management and the black players who make the system go, accordingly.

EBP also enjoy drawing comparisons between how they were separated as house and field negroes during slavery and how it still affects their people today. Most people don’t even know that CP time is really an analogous term derived from slavery. Ah, you thought the acronym was “colored people.” Learn your history. It is “cotton-picking” time.

The ties don’t stop with these simplistic thoughts. There are books written entirely around this idea including Forty Million Dollar Slaves by William C. Rhoden of The New York Times (a read we recommend).

This though, is yet another topic a white person should never introduce to an educated black person. Don’t apologize for slavery either, doing so is akin to telling us about your one black friend or saying Cornel and Kanye West look like alike.

So what are your thoughts through day one of Black In America 2? Did you watch? What did you think of Steve Perry? How about the trip to South Africa? What of Soledad’s brief take on elitest blacks?


52 responses to “Analogizing Slavery

  1. I haven’t decided if I’m going to watch Black in America 2 yet or not. I’ll probably go to sleep instead.

    You know, I read this post when it was featured on the “Stuff Educated Black People Like” site. I rarely say that I’ve been working like a slave or any other such slavery analogy unless it has just been a particularly difficult day.

    What I DO hate is when white people at work say that THEY have been working like a slave or call someone a slave driver in my presence. Really? What the hell do you know about being a slave (I don’t actually know 1st had either but still)?

  2. thecomebackgirl

    Martha Stewart inspired my post as well today which touches on bia2. Besides wondering if white people were watching, i’m more disappointed at us in our treatment of the show on our social networks.

    Micheal Jackson died and the twitterverse and facebook went off the meter. Facebook even did a callabo at his death.

    But NO ONE collectively wants to talk about race. White people feel on edge. Black people are either sadly apathetic or angry and misdirected as hell.

    My other thoughts (that i didn’t write about)…Im extremely impressed with the way in which the black elite was filmed. Its still a very protected class post reconstruction and post dubois and post e. franklin frazier. When I got back and teach univ. as an old woman I’ll be writing and lecturing about black popular culture and its parallel to past.

    • @thecomebackgirl:

      IDK about the way the black elite were displayed. The college student was shown in a positive light … But grandma stuck her foot in her mouth a few times, sorta like the sources in Toure’s Martha’s Vineyard story a few weeks back …

      • thecomebackgirl

        “But grandma stuck her foot in her mouth a few times, sorta like the sources in Toure’s Martha’s Vineyard story a few weeks back …”

        I mean..i was reading some tweets about that..Its a protected class. I’m sad that I wouldn’t be readily accepted in those circles either. On Martha’s Vineyard there is, maybe I’m paranoid, a separation of old black money and “new” class entrants.

        There’s disparity like this in my own family, so i understand. Im not mad. Its sorta how it is. And Im not apologizing for having people in my family that had very hard blue collar that I could ride semi clean..sometimes LOL.

        • You know, I get that … but to think that protecting “the elite” and separating them from other blacks is stupid.

          You don’t get culture that way. I went to college with some a few people from well-off parents. Most of those parents didn’t offer those kids the advantages most “privileged” children get. They threw them into the fire with the rest of us, and forced them to learn life as they did …

          People learn most from their experiences, and if all you know is privilege — and white people thinking you’re a gangsta and black people calling you white or bourgeois — you don’t know much.

          • thecomebackgirl

            Some of this tho is intellectual snobbery and legacy..the tuxedo ball probably also had just as many or more “academics” who can say “my great grandmother went to Howard U” than say….the kids of the black CEO of the holding Co. that owns The Olive Garden…who grew up very poor according to Inc. magazine..

            • I’m with you, I just know that there are plenty of us who have similar legacies … but to say that “we help our own” and our own isn’t reaching down the actually help someone of lower stature or class than you???

              To me, that’s no different that the non-blacks who turn a blind eye to the economic disparities that definitely exist throughout this nation …

              • thecomebackgirl

                “but to say that “we help our own” and our own isn’t reaching down the actually help someone of lower stature or class than you???”

                Wasn’t that sort of the implication of dubois and the talented 10th?? I saw alot of similarities in old girl and W.E.B. there were those who were “a credit to their race.”

                its self serving non-sense.

                • Did you read that in the right context?

                  I think W.E.B.’s idea of the talented tenth is on point. The elitest attitude has little to do with the talented tenth in my mind.

                  The whole idea of the talented tenth is to set up a hierarchy of sorts to be able to reach back and give back … That’s how we got to Brown V. The Board of Education … thx to people like Thurgood Marshall and Charles Hamilton Houston, members of that talented tenth who structured a plan to not only fight, but beat the system …

                  The black elite that were on display in BIA2 have little concern or care for “us.” I’m not saying that’s across the board … but that’s what comes across in that interview … that’s what comes across in that Toure article *coughs* hogwash *coughs*

                  And that’s the thing: If you’re dumb enough to vocalize that you believe that you’re better than someone else, you’re not doing anything but proving that you’re smaller than they are.

                  • thecomebackgirl

                    “The elitest attitude has little to do with the talented tenth in my mind.”

                    FOR REAL???

                    on that note i must retire..i’ll finish the rest in the morning.

                  • thecomebackgirl

                    I don’t deny that W.E.B had better intentions…but for a person to GET to decide whose talented enough to enter into society TO MAKE THE INTELLECTUAL decisions about one group of people and their future???

                    Who the flip actually has looked at the data in regards to Brown v. Board. I mean, I can think of lots of instances where desegregation HURT black people in public education.

                    There were tons of “smart black folks” who wanted to remain separate but equal. I DO think the broad legislative brush was needed. But there should have been the “talented 24th” who got an opportunity to analyze comparative data.

                    Thus I see some similiarities with the black elite thinking they know whats best for ALL black folks (that only benefit them and their narrow perspective)

                    big up to all the black intellectual thinkers…but I’m just stating a case, thats been heavy on my heart for a long time.

                    • I don’t think that one person was to decided. But I’m telling you that they put W.E.B.’s ideas into action to help break down some of the walls of segregation concerning education… with some of the most talented minds doing the work to break down the barriers. You don’t need numbers. The court cases are there as supporting evidence.

                      Do I think that break down those barriers hurt black-owned businesses? Of course … Black Baseball so much as died the day Jackie Robinson went to play for the Dodgers. i still don’t know what to think about all of that.

                      But I don’t believe that the elitist attitude of blacks then (the Thurgoods & the Charles Houstons and Co.) was too too similar to what we see now.

  3. thecomebackgirl

    the way in which the black elite was filmed

  4. I didn’t catch all of the story bc I was flipping channels.. I caught the little girl who wanted to be accepted into ________ program and the South African part.

    I enjoyed watching both.

    I caught the show regarding the black man last time it came on and parts of the show regarding black women. I liked watching them both but I feel like Soledad took a lot of flack, unnecessarily. Although it is a documentary, SHE is putting it together so it will not embody all of the information WE want it to .

    • @nicki:

      If I remember correctly, people felt there was little compelling from the first one because they learned nothing new … *shrugs*

      I thought it was OK at best. The most interesting part from last year was M.E.D. and his brother…

      Yesterday’s best segment was the Steve Perry/Capital Prep segment … And it was so because you had someone who was getting stuff done concerning children … and was/is getting them headed in the right direction with or without their parents’ participation.

  5. I have to say I actually enjoyed watching BIA2 last night. Although it didn’t blow me away it seemed to have a better start than the first installment. In terms of the black elite. I am on the fence with this. On one hand I want to be happy that there is an elite class amongst our people which shows that not only are we capable of excellence and the utmost class but we also push to help those out that are like us in the aspect of being overly privileged. Does this ring a bell anyone????? This is EXACTLY how rich white america acts. So, with that being said that’s when I want to be on the other side of the fence and say that it’s very ignorant to be a part of an already oppressed people and still exercise the attitude of being seperate. If you listen to every member of the black elite society their rebuttal is always ‘we do more for our own than most people’….sure, you write a check and keep on pushing. Malaak was the one that got down into the trenches, she’s rich but doesn’t consider herself elite….get it? I too, have members of my family that are from both sides of the tracks and it’s amazing to see how they both live day to day….with that all being said, my final take on the black elite is that they are more concerned with fitting in with the ‘white’ ideologies and culture than they are with just being a part of the talented 10th and working hard for their own to rise above the poor and underprivileged environments that plague so many of us. Bottom line: we can’t do everything the white man does, we are not open to the same reception and acceptance that the white man will get…so, black elites need to stop trying so hard to fit that mold and maybe they’ll be able to finally ‘see’ some things that are of importance to their own…

    • thecomebackgirl

      “In terms of the black elite.”

      I use it VERY VERY tongue and cheek. There is no getting around its a term thats been apart of this history for at least 120 years…

      • Oh absolutely, that still doesn’t make it make sense to me….it almost seems like an oxymoron. Plus after researching the boule and what it was founded on, I have much less respect for the terminology….as my old drunk uncle would say: ‘you still a n!gg@h…’

        • Got point. Just look at the arrest of Henry Louis Gates.

          • Meant good point

            • @Ernesto

              I know what you meant, and you bring up a great example. Here this man is a Harvard professor who would easily be considered ‘elite’ but look how that turned out…smh @ black folks who think they are soooooo much…

              I heard he was screaming at the officer ‘do you know who I am, do you know who I know’ (in reference to him being friends with Obama)….well uh, guess what Dr. Gates….them cops don’t give a d@mn!

    • @jlbd: This is why I don’t get it. Sure separate yourself from the most foolish stuff. Anyone would. But to separate yourself and your children from what the world considers normalcy is no different from the ignorance experienced by those who are doing the most foolish stuff.

      There’s way more to the world than living an elitist lifestyle, and running in those circles. IDK.

      • @Damon

        Oh absolutely. You are correct, I don’t want to be around riff raff or bullsh1t but I also don’t think I’m better than anyone just because I work hard, pay my taxes, have a graduate degree, and don’t have government assistance. As Malaak pointed out, some people just need to see why they have a reason to do more and strive for more. Some people don’t see a point in working hard to rise above because all they see day in and day out is the ghetto and all the negative elements it encompasses. THESE type of people only need someone to care and give them a chance….

        • What did you think of the trip to Africa? I wasn’t the biggest fan for what it seemed like they were trying to do …

          And for the most part, it didn’t work. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad the kids got to see the world and that their are people worse off than they are. But that just lets you know that the world craps on other people more than it craps on you. It’s still craps on you, though.

          That’s why I wasn’t surprised when Jeremy’s grades didn’t improve. smh.

          • @Damon

            To be honest with you I was bored with the Africa trip. That was the most uninteresting part of it. I think what Malaak was attempting to do was awesome and it needs to continue, but when you see something like that and then come back to an environment where the government takes care of you, your home life is likely effed up to a degree and you still see poverty (in another respect) how can you really CHANGE. I think the program is awesome but these kids need better home lives and immediate surroundings before anything can truly be changed for good.

            • This is why I’m really curious as to how Steve Perry keeps it up at Capital Prep … because without parental involvement, it’s tough to do what he’s doing.

              But they’re apparently doing it, which is great. It just be nice if we could put that model on paper and regenerate it throughout the innercities of America.

              • That would be a good move. I think Steve Perry is likely ALOT more determined than some of these other leaders. He puts so much of his time and effort it to making it happen…the best quote of the night: ‘you do what you gotta do to get it done’….I’ve been saying that for years, and it was nice to hear it said by someone of his prominence on tv to be heard by ‘us’…

    • I said this on another blog…

      I straddle the fence. I got to experience some of the trappings of the elite, but I wasn’t the elite. I love that we have black people who can call themselves elite, but I am concerned with the way we are still exclusive. Black folks, of all socio-economic backgrounds, love being exclusive… to each other… it was one thing I wish they had spoken more indepth about with BIA2…

      I also wish they had gone into more detail about being black at a prep school. That guy’s “I was called a n*gger” story” is all too familiar to any one who attended a prep school but we all also know that’s just one story of the many we could tell.

      • “Black folks, of all socio-economic backgrounds, love being exclusive…”

        i agree with this..and some times its not about status directly..scratch that usually always boils down to status.

        we do it with our intellectuals, our academia, blogs, the cars we drive.

        I think its human nature to want to appear successful or bout it. But what about those of us who didn’t have the same exposure and opportunity..

  6. I did not get a chance to see BIA2 nor did I really get to see BIA1, I don’t get to watch too much TV. But on the discussion of the “Black Elite”, I think I have made my opinion on this notion very clear. Class warfare will be the biggest problem black people will face in the future as more and more of us EBP seem to find those who listen to Soulja Boy and wear Big Ass Chains as a lost cause, not acceptable to our standard of living right.

    The talented tenth is a good plan in theory but I think it does ignore obvious factors as greed, elitism and especially clannishness. Walking with kings and not losing the common touch can be and is very difficult for many.

  7. On another note, did anyone else cringe and want to scream in agony when that welfare mother in the beginning stated ‘Thank God for the government…’?

    I swear I wanted to scream…

    • @jlbd: I think the television where I was at was turned down at that moment (we were having a group discussion). And that was apparently a good thing. I might have thrown something at the television. lol.

      • @Damon

        You have no idea….! That’s the problem with so many of us now and that’s why I’m conservative when it comes to the government. If all you do is strive for the minimal and you are under the impression that the government will take care of you, you are just falling into the scheme of the masterminds and becoming a pawn. Mark my words: GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE IS INSTITUTIONALIZED RACISM! It keeps us down and makes us lazy….black folks wake up!

        • I don’t think it’s all that. But it does keep people down. Hell, it keeps plenty of white people down, too.

          • But white people aren’t oppressed as a race so they’ll still get acceptance in areas despite their poverty. With us already being oppressed as a race we need to understand how big brother is trying to keep us down, by making us depend on him for everything. Damon, why is it that you have such a hard time seeing the wheels spinning and the machine at work?….lol

            • I think the entire system is set up in a way to keep people who are at the bottom at the bottom … We just happen to have a greater proportion of our people stuck at the bottom.

              I see what you’re saying, just think it’s more systemic and less big brother “trying” to keep us down.

              • @Damon

                Ok, I like your optimism, but just remember…the government is corrupt. Don’t forget about J. Edgar Hoover and his antics. Everything is monitored, everything is watched…everything is for a reason…

        • I agree on people looking to the government to solve all of our ills. If we keep expanding government to the point where they will take care of you financially, health and anything else you need then whats the point of success? Especially when they will tax the living success out of you! I agree that social welfare programs are a bane to our development as a people because some really believe that they have no need to go out and excel because Big Brother will provide for our every need…and that’s dangerous!

    • I just had a little vomit in my throat. That is sad, but what can we do?

      • @ASmith

        I just got a little nauseous and refrained from screaming because I didn’t want the fiance to think I was losing it. It was so disheartening and I think Soledad should have edited that part out. I’m disappointed in her all over again. Nothing new, same old stereotypes…she never profiles everyday folks like us who go to work, come home to our families, attends social gatherings, concerts, softball games, etc. It’s always the extremely underprivileged or the extremely overprivileged…I guess we are just boring and the media can’t sensationalize that…smh…

  8. “Black Baseball ”

    ??? LOL


    • I can’t believe I actually had to think about why YOU, of all people, LOL’d … smh. that’s hilarious.

      • Its kind of sad because its also important black history..that I never really embraced or was interested in.

        But I will make a point in doing some google searches this weekend ..

        • The book that I mentioned earlier (and I mentioned it once on that first Vick letter), 40 Million Dollar Slaves …

          I suggest you read it. It’s not really about sports. It’s about race, and take a compelling look at it through sports.

          It’s a quick read, too. But you can also go to … It’s the site for the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in KC.

          But I’d curious to see what you thought after reading that book.

  9. thecomebackgirl

    Oh… know Tyler Perry is going to be on

    i wonder if Soledad is going to ask the hard hitting questions about the Madea image and black pop culture..i have so many questions i would ask.

    • I just hope that he announces that the next Madea film will be “Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes Into Cardiac Arrest”

      I know “I Can Do Better” is coming in September … and that’s just upsetting.

      • Did you see the preview for Chris Rock’s film ‘Good Hair’? That actually looks like it’s going to be interesting and funny at the same time…lol

  10. thecomebackgirl

    tyler perry on tonite i meant

  11. I don’t know…. I know that racism will always be here, but I see a strong rise in the separation of classes. Its to a point that I see similarities with the caste system.

  12. Hey, y’all. Today’s been a crazy day. I’ll be back later to read the post & all of the comments. Just wanted to say hi!

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