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Gone are the days of the plantations, slave masters, slaves, hangings and the whip. All the atrocities that we once endured are gone. We live just as good as white folks. We got nothing to worry about. If you believe any of this stuff, I wonder where you have been hanging out. In the early days racism was blatant. You knew that white folks didn’t like you. You knew how to carry yourself around them so as not to get them riled up and wind up hanging from a tree. There were signs that steered you to separate toilets, and water fountains. Signs that steered you to the back door of restaurants while the white folks went in the front door. They had the best seating in the house, while you were cramped up in a small space next to the smelly, greasy kitchen, or bathrooms. Your nose and clothing got soaked in the scents of cooked food or bodily wastes. Yes, you endured, just to be able to say that you could afford a night out. While the poor black folks shimmied down by the river in a shanty and drank bootlegged whiskey, gambled and whatever else they wanted to do, among their own people. Sometimes the white men came by to get a black girl, free of charge. That kept the sheriff at bay for a while. We are talking about the times when the only time you were given the occasion to be the center of attraction was when you kept white folks entertained either in the bed, singing and dancing for them, or hanging from a tree.

Those days are over, or the happenings of that time are not as prevalent now as it was then. No longer are you discriminated against and all these laws have been passed to prosecute racism, bias, segregation and such. We are living in the good times. We can go to schools and get an education, and a job. We can live just like they do. To those who feed into this mentality, boy, are you sleeping with your eyes wide open. We must wake up to the tactics that are being used to entice us, to get us out of focus, so we will not be aware of what has taken the place of the whip. Discrimination and racism are still prevalent.

Next Week’s Topic: What Has Taken the Place of the Whip?

Janet is the author of A Lighter Shade of Black

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This entry was posted in: For Readers, For Writers


As author of A Lighter Shade of Black, I explored my interest in fictional slave narratives and the divisions between light skinned (rich, house slave) and dark skinned blacks (poor, field slave). I am very interested in how this and other dynamics from slavery affect us today. I am also passionate about conquering the divisions between us as a people and imparting important social, cultural, and historical knowledge to the next generation. Contact:

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