Stop The Traffik!

Currently reading The Long Song by Andrea Levy (great writer who also wrote one of my favourite BBC drama adaptations, Small Island), and I can't help but note what a shocking contrast it is to my last novel, My Last Duchess by Daisy Goodwin. Both remarkable pieces of work, I must note, but juxtaposed I cannot fail to draw comparisons with their authorial tones and viewpoints.
"If our ancestors survived the slave ship, they were strong. If they survived the plantation, they were clever" Andrea Levy quoting a Jamaican acquaintance.
 Boobtube : Ankara creation from Nigeria (remade by me) | Trousers : ZARA
Coming from direct African decent, I was ignorant to the history of slavery, cotton trade and plantation fields ironically, until I myself crossed the pond. I was such a tyrant in class, and acted out of character for one of colour during black history month and history lessons centring on the topic of slavery. In retrospect, it was my way of dealing with something that seemed alien and inhumane. How can one sell another human being? I struggled to understand the logic of self-imposed hierarchy. Who deemed one race superior over the other? These were the questions that played on my mind as I mocked Kunta in Roots, or made foul jokes at the expense of those whose heritage rode on it *bows head in shame*
 Wedges : Primark | Ring : **Gifted
My Last Duchess centres on a caucasian American heiress, but for the purposes of this post, I want to shed light on her mixed race maid. The author dabbled on the topic of inter-racial relationships, rape and slavery, but in such a dainty manner. The maid was given hand-me-downs and would pretend to be her mistress in town, trying to earn the same privileges. What I deduced from this, was an inferiority complex. The maid was willing to bend over backwards and sacrifice her happiness and her love life for an ungrateful mistress who accorded her no real respect. Andrea Levy, not too far into The Long Song, draws attention to the fact that the novel is not like others one may have read. The detail of the maltreatment of negroes is so graphic, and the degrading language flung around dismissively by the white slave masters cannot be mistaken.
"Those preachers have put it in their head that they are as worthy as a white man. Good chance to put those niggers back in their place" (Page 67 The Long Song - HardBack)
The harsh reality of slavery and the journey to cultural identity cannot be brushed over by embellished diction. The sad part is, slavery is far from being extinct. I watched shocking footage on sky sports lastweek, of a hidden camera which captured the illegal sale of African boys to several European countries with the promise of becoming a world class footballer, but under complete 'ownership' of his master. As a budding Human Rights' Barrister, this account enraged me. As today marks the assassination of MLK Jr, I urge you to look past colour and race, and look towards the plight of humanity as a unit. Take a second of your time today to think of MLK's 'dream, and pray for those not fortunate enough to have the freedom that we take so much for granted.





Onyxsta says...BLEURGH!! "We lose ourselves when we compromise the very ideals that we fight to defend" Barack Obama. Xisses