28 Days

March 3, 2006

As quickly as it arrived, “Black History Month” is over. The shortest month of the year commemorates the achievements of people of African descent, but perhaps not enough is mentioned of their plight. While most non-blacks have now turned their attention to remembering the Jewish Holocaust, I think it is more than appropriate that we take a moment and remember a much more devastating and lasting injustice, the slave trade.

According to the BBC:

The exact numbers of Africans shipped overseas during the slave trade are hotly debated – estimates range between 10 and 28 million.

What is undisputed is the degree of savage cruelty endured by men, women and children. Up to 20% of those chained in the holds of the slave ships died before they even reached their destination.

How is this more devastating than the Holocaust? The answer is something you’ll find in the survivors, not the casualties. The Jewish survivors were freed. They were allowed to keep their heritage, their language, their culture, their religion, and their names. In any other tragedy or oppression, those who have been oppressed survived with some aspect of their culture and heritage.

From enslaved Africans, particularly in the United States, everything from their motherland was stripped from them. Their language, religion, culture, history, and even their names, were erased from history. Only fragments of what it means to be truly African are left among Blackamericans. The Atlantic ocean is littered with the human remains of our heritage. That which survived was beaten out of our ancestors on plantations.

So, today I remember one of the greatest sustained acts of injustice that the world has known.

Every night brings a new day. Allah alleviates all pain. Everything has its end. Allah is enough for me.


One comment

  1. Assalaamu’alaikum

    Subhanna’Allah thank you for this post, it will do the world good to remember the tragedy that dragged an intire people away from their homes to a land of the ‘free’ !

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