michaelharriot @michaelharriot Senior Writer at theroot.com/, poet, Wypipologist, master race-baiter. His pen is mightier than your sword. Wakanda✈️Zamunda Oct. 25, 2019 7 min read

Thread: Kanye said today that y'all called him a "coon" for saying "slavery is a choice."

This is a thread about how slavery was ACTUALLY a choice and the choices they made.

Warning-This post contains stories that will probably make you cry.

First, let's get rid of the narrative of the "nice" slavemaster.

Slavery was a cruel institution in and of itself. It is no more possible to be a "good slavemaster" than it is to be a rapist. And white people have ALWAYS known this.

That is why Thomas Jefferson was a rapist. Sally Hemmings was his property and was, therefore, unable to give consent.

She had no choice.

And, while white people love to say slavery wasn't cruel in the context of the time, even the white people BACK THEN knew it was wrong.

George Washington enslaved 317 humans but if you say "that's how it was back then, even he would call you stupid. He called slave-owning his "one indelible blot" and thought people would be surprised to know that he participated in that evil institution. He wrote:

"Ages to come will read with Astonishment that the man who was foremost to wrench the rights of America from the tyrannical grasp of Britain was among the last to relinquish his own oppressive hold of poor unoffending negroes."

Bars.

He was cruel too. In fact, George spent the final part of his life chasing after Oney Judge, a 20-year-old black woman who hauled ass away from Mount Vernon the first chance she got.

She spent her life hiding from the most powerful and famous man in the country.

Choice my ass.

You wanna hear about choice, though? Lemme tell you the story of Henry Brown.

Henry Brown called his master "uncommonly kind" and said "he seemed like a god to us." Henry was even allowed to earn his own money being hired out to other people.

But Henry had a plan. Henry was giving that money to his wife's master's wife to keep his wife and 3 kids together. One day, Henry came home and discovered that his wife and kids had been sold anyway.

So Henry made the choice to escape. How did he do it?

First, Henry burned his hand to the bone with sulfuric acid to get out of working that day. Back then, for some reason, black people weren't allowed to purchase Amazon Prime memberships (I haven't looked it up. I'm just guessing.)

So Henry paid half his life savings, $86 (about $2600 in today's money), to ship a box to Pennsylvania.

Guess what was in that package.

A man who CHOSE freedom—or as he would forever be known—Henry "Box" Brown.

Margaret "Peggy" Garner's story is heartbreaking.

Side note: Why is Peggy a nickname for Margaret? That's just dumb. I understand why Dick is short for Richard (Because almost every Richard I've ever met was a dick)

Anyway...Peggy married to a black man who was also enslaved

But for some reason, all of her children were mixed. Coincidentally, all of her children were born a few months after her slavemaster's wife gave birth.

If you haven't put 2 and 2 together yet, Margaret's master was raping her whenever his wife was too pregnant to have sex

Oh yeah, that slavemaster was Archibald Gaines, who had brought Peggy from his younger brother, John.

Why did I even mention John? It's not like he was doing this stuff. It was John's younger brother who was the rapist, right?

Well, John P. Gaines a Ken. congressman who later served as Gov. of the Oregon territory

So Peggy and her husband was like: "fuck these white folks" so they convinced SEVENTEEN other enslaved people to run away.

(Rumor had it that there would have been 18 escapees but one slave named Jebediah Kanye West refused to leave)

Margaret had 1 boy and 2 girls. She vowed that she would never let a white man touch her daughters. Remember, this had happened to Margaret AND her mother.

No more

She had a brilliant plan.

First, they waited until the coldest day of the coldest winter in 60 years and got the fuck out of Dodge.

I know black folks don't like the cold and some of y'all are wondering why they did it then

Well, even though white people will wear flip flops in the summer, they can't run very fast. Peggy and her crew stole the master's horse and sleigh and CROSSED THE FROZEN OHIO RIVER.

But you know someone called the police on them.

Seriously, that's what happened. Someone called the fugitive slave catchers when the group was hiding out at Margaret's uncles house.

When the white men burst in, Margaret did something that I cannot ever image but illustrates the inhumaninty and desperation of slavery:

Rather than see her 2-year-old return to what she had endured, Margaret Garner stabbed the child to death.

They returned the Garners back to Archibald.

They eventually wanted to try Peggy for murder, but her owner was scared she would tell a court of his cruelty.

So he kept moving Peggy's family between plantations. During one of the moves, she was aboard a boat when she threw her daughter overboard and watched her drown. Margaret even tried to drown herself but was rescued.

Before she died, she told her husband to "never marry again in slavery, but to live in hope of freedom."

Choice.

My grandmother is from Moncks Corner, SC which is where my mother now lives, so all my life I have heard Geechie stories about flying and people who can walk on water.

In fact, some people believe that one of our favorite movie quotes came from the story I'm about to tell you:

In 1803, John Couper and Thomas Spalding paid $100 each for 75 slaves in what we now called Nigeria.

At the time, that was a good price. If they managed to sell all 75 at the going rate, they would make more than a $681,000 in profit in today's currency

The reason they got such a good deal is simple:

Igbo slaves were known for being rebellious. They would rather die than be enslaved. They fought back, ran away and even killed their masters.

But the rice plantations of the South Ga. Islands was brutal work and required strength

The enslaved Igbo were chained together and transferred to another ship, They were crammed together under the deck. The crew of the new ship eventually got tired of them because they were too loud.

They kept sending crewmembers do the belly of the ship to quiet the enslaved Igbo

The crew started to get scared when they realized that the captives weren’t just screaming, they were saying one chant, over and over, in unison. They were just waiting and praying: “Orimiri Omambala bu anyi bia. Orimiri Omambala ka anyi ga ejina.”

When the ship got close to the shore, the chants grew louder. “Orimiri Omambala bu anyi bia. Orimiri Omambala ka anyi ga ejina,” they yelled in unison.

And somehow, the Africans broke the chains, rebelled and threw the entire crew overboard.

Late that night, Roswell King, who was an overseer on a nearby plantation heard the noise. He woke up and heard the noise:
“Orimiri Omambala bu anyi bia. Orimiri Omambala ka anyi ga ejina,”
“Orimiri Omambala bu anyi bia. Orimiri Omambala ka anyi ga ejina,”

Over and over again

And when he got close enough to see, he would later tell people what he saw. So would a man only identified as Capt. Patterson.

Led by their captured chieftan, chained together, all 75 enslaved Igbo walked calmly into Dunbar Creek chanting in unison:

“Orimiri Omambala bu anyi bia. Orimiri Omambala ka anyi ga ejina,”

They were chanting: "The Water Spirit brought us here. The Water Spirit will take us home."

Now only seventeen bodies were ever recovered and the legend says that some of those Igbo survived because they could walk on water or could fly. Some people say that you can still see them on some nights on the coast of St. Simon in S. Georgia.

Some people call it the largest mass suicide in American history.

But it was actually a SUCCESSFUL SLAVE REVOLT.

Some people have speculated if this event inspired a line from a famous movie. If I ever meet Ryan Coogler I'm going to ask him if it's true.

The line:

"Bury me in the ocean, with my ancestors that jumped from the ships, because they knew death was better than bondage.”

Im sure that song is sweeter than ANYTHING on Kanye’s MAGA Gospel ALbum


You can follow @michaelharriot.



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