Black Skin Black Flag Issue 5: Atlantic Slavery and Mental Health
Atlantic Slavery and Mental Health
Mental slavery is one of the most insidious legacies of the Atlantic slave trading era. It is a psychological disorder that is reflected in unhealthy beliefs, thoughts and actions. It imprisons the mind and leads to denial, isolation and self-hate. It erodes dignity and shatters the sense of self. Mental slavery impedes growth and development while fostering dependency and an inferiority complex. It destroys ambition, promotes underachievement and low expectations and prevents its victims from seeing and exploiting opportunities that are in their best interests. Mental slavery confuses priorities. It stops many African Americans from reaching their full human potential and instead teaches too many to wear their wealth on the outside (fashion, cars) rather than on the inside mothers and fathers. It hinders and breaks up relationships, marriages and leaves behind countless children without fathers. It hinders and breaks up relationships, marriages and leaves behind countless children without fathers. Mental slavery means forgetting the most unforgivable crimes. It does not ask for apologies or even recognition of past sins. It promotes ambivalence and collusion with one’s oppressor’s values even when they are in clear breach of one’s own best interests.
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