Could You Really Imagine Being A Slave?
Could you imagine being a slave, having another human being owning you? Having the ability to rape your wife, shackle your children, beat you when they have had too much to drink or they are just feeling ornery? I don’t think any of us could even conceive of what being a slave would be like.
In 1863, during the American Civil War, Pres. Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared more than three million slaves living in the Confederate states to be free. More than two years would pass, however, before the news reached African Americans living in Texas. It was not until Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865, that the state’s residents finally learned that slavery had been abolished. The former slaves immediately began to celebrate with prayer, feasting, song, and dance.
Abraham Lincoln is one of the most quotable luminaries of all time. I could send an entire month’s worth of his thoughts and not even begin to drain the reservoir. He was truly one of the most conscientious and sentient presidents ever.
He was noted for saying, “Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.” But I love him for statements like, “My dream is of a place and a time where America will once again be seen as the last best hope of earth.”
I have seen my share of videos cycling through social media with African American thought leaders like Morgan Freeman expressing why they do not think there needs to be a black history month. And I understand his perspective on that and I respect it, but I also believe that a nation of intolerant people are served by positive reinforcement that only through our unity will we ultimately reemerge as the great nation we have been in the past.
Having a clause in the constitution that says that all men are created equal is a value to be cherished. Living up to that value proves to be exhausting at times, especially when people on opposite sides of the conflicts behave in the manner as to illuminate the huge divide they feel between them.
Can you imagine what it must have felt like in Texas when the union troops arrived to announce that slavery was over? Every bit the same as being liberated from a concentration camp In Auschwitz.
Human beings can be both tender and caring as well as vile and hateful. It is incumbent upon us to spread the light, the knowledge, the understanding that ultimately makes America the last best hope on earth as Abraham Lincoln had projected.
QUESTION OF THE DAY: Do you think you could really imagine what it would be like to be a slave?
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The assertion that ‘all men are created equal’ was of no practical use effecting our separation from Great Britain, and it was placed in the Declaration not for that, but for future use.