If you have love in your heart, anything is possible. Things will come up that will try to break your desire to love, but don’t let them. Persevere, because love is the dark, mysterious vista of the heavens, it is the eternalness that it offers.
I long for a woman who believes she has powers. Yes a woman who in a strange way thinks she can do unbelievable, amazing things. Who has so much faith, it isn’t that she would attempt to pass through walls, or walk over the oceans waters, or fly off a building, but who knows she is so extraordinary, so wonderfully wanted and needed by God were she to fall off a building she would land lightly on the ground, were she to sink in the oceans waters, she would be lifted to the surface. I long for a woman, who even when naked is still fully dressed in confidence.
We must do our best Black Man and Black Woman to live the right way. It is the best way to honor our ancestors. It is what they wanted for us, to see us living happily and peacefully. Do not let the resistances our ancestors put up be for nothing. Live, live, live, live! Live for we are meant to live beautifully.
Today there is considerable discussion about the disintegration of the Negro family in the urban ghettos. We need only to learn something about the special origins of the Negro family to discover the root of the problem. The Negro family for three hundred years has been on the tracks of the racing locomotives of American history, dragged along mangled and crippled. Pettigrew has pointed out that American slavery is distinguished from all other forms of slavery because it consciously dehumanized the Negro. In Greece and Rome, for example, slaves preserved dignity and a measure of family life. Our institution of slavery, on the other hand, began with the break-up of families on the coasts of Africa. Because the middle passage was long and expensive, African families were torn apart in the interest of selectivity, as if the members were beasts. In the ships’ holds, black captives were packed spoon fashion to live on a voyage often lasting two to six months in a space for each the size of a coffin. If water ran short, or famine threatened, or a plague broke out, whole cargoes of living and dead were thrown overboard. The sheer physical torture was sufficient to murder millions of men, women and children. But even more incalculable was the psychological damage.
Of those families who survived the voyage, many more were ripped apart on the auction block as soon as they reached American shores. Against this ghastly background the Negro family began life in the United States. On the plantation the institution of legal marriage for salves did not exist. The masters might direct mating, or if they did not intervene, marriage occurred without sanctions. There were polygamous relationships, fragile monogamous relationships, illegitimacies, abandonment and the repetitive tearing apart of families as children, husbands or wives were sold to other plantations. But these cruel conditions were not yet the whole story. Masters and their sons used Negro women to satisfy their spontaneous lust or, when more humane attitudes prevail, as concubines. The depths were reached in Virginia, which we sentimentally call the State of Presidents. There slaves were bred for sale, not casually or incidentally, but in a vast deliberate program which produced enormous wealth for slaveowners. This breeding program was one answer to the legal halting of the slave traffic early in the nineteenth century.
Against these odds the Negro family struggled to survive through the ante bellum era, and miraculously many did. In all this psychological and physical horror many slaves managed to hold on to their children and developed warmth and affection and family loyalties against the smashing tides of emotional corruption and destruction.
The liberation from slavery in 1863, which should have initiated the birth of a stable Negro family, meant a formal legal freedom but, as Henrietta Buckmaster put it, “With Appomattox, four million black people in the South owned their skins and nothing more.” With civil war still dividing the nation, a new inferno engulfed the Negro and his family. Thrown off the plantations, penniless, homeless, still largely in the territory of their enemies and in the grip of fear, bewilderment and aimlessness, hundreds of thousands became wanderers. For security they fled to Union Army camps that were unprepared to help. One writer describes a mother carrying a child in one arm, a father holding another child, and eight other children with their hands tied to one rope held by the mother, who struggled after Sherman’s army and traveled hundreds of miles to safety. All were not so fortunate. In the starvation-induced madness some Negroes killed their children to free them of their misery.
These are historical facts. If they cause the mind to reel with horror, it is still necessary to realize that this is but a tiny glimpse of the reality of the era, and it does justice neither to the enormous extent of the tragedy nor to the degree of human suffering and sorrow.”
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the destruction of the African family
Taken from his last book “Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?” (1967) (pages 104-106)