We Were Slaves: Be Proud of Our Heritage and Strength

Updated on January 23, 2020
A slave entertaining children.
A slave entertaining children.

We Were Slaves™

My story does not come from Africa. It originated there generations ago, but my story was born in Woodville, TX. My heritage is from slaves. For years, society made me embarrassed about this heritage, but I am done with that!

My ancestors built this country and talk about your hostile working conditions. The more I read about slaves, the more I appreciate their resilience and their ability to survive. It started with the journey to the America's. We do not know how many died on those trips. We do not know how many ended up as shark food. We know about the rapes of women. We know about the starvation and the diseases.

We know about the dehumanization that took place in slave markets. We know that they whipped freemen within an inch of their lives to make them slaves. We know about the work that slaves did to build this country. We built the infrastructure that is America.

We survived. We went on to survive 100-years of the destruction our bodies, our homes and businesses. Lynching was a common practice and no one paid the consequences. Riots, before 1965, consisted of whites running through black neighborhoods and burning stuff. People ask me all the time, "Why haven't black people prospered like other groups." Well, because for a century you burned and looted our properties. Then you took that property without consequences. Many blacks who fled the South during the Great Migration, were running for their lives.

So, black people understand your strength. Despite terrible odds and groups who wanted to destroy us, we are here. Despite having our souls traumatized, we are here. Despite laws whose design was the destruction of our people, we are here. Despite rape and torture, we are here.

They called us lazy. They called us thieves by nature. They said that sex controlled us. They called us brutes. They called us bucks and bitches. Yet, we are here. They chopped off our feet, mutilated our lynched bodies, and still, we are here. Stop believing it.

We are survivors. Through this, we created a country. We created music that serenaded generations. We built the first clock in America. We invented the Cotton Scraper that revolutionized the cotton industry. We built the first crop reaper and never got the credit. We invented a boat propeller that helped shipped goods arrive on time. We invented a steam engine large enough to drive a warship. This was during slavery. We would go on to perform the second open-heart surgery.

We Were Slaves™. It is time that we proclaim and embrace our past. It is time that we help America understand our contribution. It is time that we see ourselves and our slave heritage as a credit to our resilience. We are Americans and, yes, WE WERE SLAVES™.

Own it. Claim it. Embrace it. Because we survived it. We thrived despite it. Our culture is the cloth that is wholly American. Slavery is America's shame, but it is and should be our crowning glory. We made her rich and the country she is today. It does not matter what others believe or say. It does not matter that they deny slavery and its brutality. All that matters is that we recognize the strength that it gave us. That we use that strength and teach our children their heritage. We Were Slaves™ and I am proud of it!!!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 

      2 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      First off, I've never been to Woodville, but my love of Texas extends beyond places I've been. I guess it is possible I've been to Woodville, but I don't recall it.

      I'm from Kaufman. I was born in Dallas. I've lived the most of my life in Kaufman County, and then Dallas County second.

      Society, or one could simply refer to it as 'left wing extremist mass media' is doing all it can to attempt to make me ashamed of things I had not a single thing to do with as well. Many of my ancestors were Confederate veterans.

      We're talking about dirt poor people. There's never been, so far as I can find out, a solitary soul in my ancestor's US history who was ever wealthy, or owned a slave.

      ...but I'm a straight white male. From the south. And I'm a Christian. So the left wing extremist mass media says it is wonderful to hate ME.

      Okay - this can be taken as neither here, nor there. At one point I lived in the extremely tiny town of Rosser, Texas. Rosser is thought to be mostly black. I'm not sure that is true, but there are only around 400 people in Rosser to begin with.

      Anyway, I had lived there for a while. Six months or so. I was doing a LOT of illicit drugs at the time. And I was also sometimes working as many as 90 hours, or even more, in a week. Hard work. Hvac mechanic work.

      My mind started coming apart. Rosser is an extremely rural community. There are very old and very large oak trees. I literally started - not 'seeing,' but imagining that I was seeing people hanging from some of those trees.

      Well, I grew up in Kaufman, and a large number of persons from there know me, and one night a black friend I'd went to school with had posted some things on Facebook about lynchings in the Scurry/Rosser area from many years past. The man was from a large and well known local black family, and a lot of older persons were chiming in on how they'd also heard of these same things.

      Wild. While there are no known documents of such happenings, there are many stories of such lynchings. I'd have preferred thinking my mind was just shot from overwork and using illegal chemicals.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, letterpile.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)