The exposure and explanation of slavery and its impact on the human life is evidently presented in this piece” Breaking The Chains Of Psychological Slavery”. The arguments put forward attempt to highlight the effects and results of slavery. I consent to a variety of proposals brought forward in this topic about slavery and its link to the current generation resulting from the slaved parents. Dr. Akbar touches the leadership, where he states that whenever a slave surfaced as a head, their masters would discover and isolate, mock, stamp out or exterminate them. Consequently, he or she will be replaced by another leader that adheres to all the directions given by the master. Dr. Akbar intends to link such happenings to the current practices and actions of offsprings resulting from the slave generation.
“Breaking the Chains of Psychological Slavery”, an essay compilation by Dr. Na’im Akbar, has continued to raffle many features as its linguistic eloquence and a choice of imagery sets in motion a radical shift of widely accepted ideologies. In its first edition of publication, it lacked the sections related to eliminating the mental slavery which he describes as the ghost of the plantation. Through his work, a more explicit view and comprehension of the issue of slavery is brought out. He tackles the matters that played a great role in inculcating and ensuring the existence of the slavery through the outlined chapters.
In his first chapter, the author traces the roots of the clown character and how it has been transposed to the modern day and age. He begins by stating that the clown character was born out of the intrinsic necessity of slaves to please their masters. The slave who could entertain and make the master laugh loudest always received a token and was favored more than the other slaves (Akbar, 16). This, he compares to an animal that pleases his master after being taught a couple of tricks. In modern times, I find that the idea of gratifying the master has taken a completely different angle. The society has been structured in a way that the black community is awarded more for taking the center stage of entertainment and providing jester-like services.
A large portion of the black community has taken part in the athletic and entertainment scenes where they have an illustrious career and are paid handsomely for clowning. This has in turn inculcated the notion on the oncoming generations that to get a soft padding in life, one does not have to go to school necessarily. The system has been structured in such a way that the black engineers, researchers, doctors and those engaged in the other white collar jobs usually receive a media blackout from the press and their feats are rarely mentioned. They are also poorly paid, which makes their lives to look both boring and hard. This argument holds water because it is definitely true that we rarely see an Afro-American receiving an accolade unless it is in BET awards or in some sporting activity. Many black sportsmen and women usually get many endorsements and have become the face of different sporting brands to represent athleticism.
The argument in chapter one rages on in the family sub topic. The writer argues that the family, which is the most basic unit in the society, is hardest hit by the slavery. He perceives slavery as a degrading factor that does not support families in the African-American world. This is because it tries to eliminate the role of the father in the home and compares the slave to the chattel who does not marry (Akbar, 35). The vows made during the marriage are rendered null and void by the master slave relationship because, the master controls the lives of both partners in the marriage. This management and the inability to provide for the family, made the man to embark on defying the role of being a father. Since men were valued according to the number of children they could sire, the modern African-American man continues to carry this legacy by siring many children all around by different women and leaving the fate and chance to determine their future.
The mother to child relationship, also shifted because some women were raped by their masters and in the consequence of giving birth, they became either abusive or over protective to their offspring who grew up to inherit such traits. Akbar argues that even though factors like unemployment contribute to fueling the vices, they have their history in slavery. This proposal is also factual because, the Black American family has taken a new form as single mothers and outlawed children continue to throng the social scene. This is why the term “Baby Mama” is getting a wider acceptance. However, when the author says that in Africa these cases are minimal I find that it is a hoax. This might have been the prevailing scenario during the time he was in scripting the book for the first publication since things have changed due to globalization, among the other factors. On the flip side, if I consider colonization as a form of slavery, then the writer’s arguments will be fully applicable.
Dr. Akbar in this unusual thesis comes up with a host of solutions that can help in terms of liberation from the mental slavery. In this chapter, he is careful to note that all the animals on the planet, no matter big or small, usually survive on the fundamentals of instinct or a programming that is innate (Akbar, 45). He regards humans as the only life forms on the planet who are self conscious and have a self awareness and tries to back up his statement by insinuating that humans can only know what they are trained. He says that it will be very difficult to break out of this entanglement because the very thought of being a slave provokes a negative reaction, which makes us to deem ourselves as free.
It is through the celebration of the self that black people in America can gain consciousness of themselves, which in turn empowers them to realize their true capacity. He stems this from the notion that all the humans are armed with what they need to undertake and once this potential is stirred by that realization, there will be no barriers (Akbar, 70). According to my understanding, both, getting to work and celebration of self are applicable to combating the vice. This is because; they configure the mind in such a manner that it will resist neo slavery forms.
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The issue on racial religious imagery and psychological confusion is regarded by many as the most controversial. Dr. Akbar states that many scholars have not dealt with the religious symbols and their impact on human philosophy. This is especially underrated when we look at the attributes and characteristics assigned to God. By assigning God a Caucasian color, yet we relate God to superiority, African-Americans subconsciously commence to believe that they are inferior. Albeit the color allegation, black scholars have come out strongly to dispute the widely accepted belief that Jesus Christ was white. Dr. Akbar stipulates that ultimate liberation is not simply attained by exchanging the Caucasian image by an African one, but by realizing that God is in a form far superior to any form of human flesh (Akbar, 80). Religion is an all important implement because all the human beings usually sense that they relate with some extra terrestrial forces. Some, who are atheists, fancy to call it “Mother Nature” whilst the spiritually inclined, which constitute the majority, submit to it as God.
By ascribing something higher than human knowledge and understanding to a human form, makes it easy to see oneself as inferior. This is because humans are fond of worshipping and if God can be reflected in human form, then the temptation to hold in esteem a person possessing certain attributes, would be overtly tempting. The loss of identity due to the slavery is a factor that has wrought psychological confusion to the minds of the Africans and it is only through self celebration, courage, self knowledge, unity, faith and getting to work to make it happen that we can liberate the African American.
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