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Tuesday, Feb. 27
The Indiana Daily Student

Black Voices

Black Voices: The truth will come to light, America needs to face its history


Editor’s Note: This story includes mention of sexual violence and torture.

The truth has a way of coming to light. It never remains buried for long. Why is it hidden and censored on social media?

There is a conspiracy white people used to eat Black people. They also were said to have used our skin as “human leather.” There are books written about these practices, like the “Delectable Negro” from Vincent Woodard. 

According to The New York Times, after Nat Turner was hanged Nov. 11, 1831, for leading a slave rebellion which killed 55 white people, he was decapitated and skinned and his body turned into souvenirs. What was even worse is they turned parts of his body into medicinal grease, according to the article.

This wasn’t the first person this happened to either. Often, the skin was made into purses and the grease from the flesh was used as oil.

Black people and the Indigenous people were called “brutal savages,” but white people are the ones who lived the definition of the word brutal with pride. A device used on enslaved people called the “Pear Of Anguish,” was a metal pear-shaped object. It was commonly used on both enslaved women and men as a way to torture, rape and humiliate the enslaved person. This device was either inserted in their mouth, vaginally or anally and would either rip genitally, break their jaws or even cause death. 

For women, the device could cause them to bleed to death or induce infertility. A lot of people believe only women were raped in chattel slavery, but unfortunately, that is far from the truth. Men were raped just as often. Another tool is the thumbscrew which used two metal plates usually rigged to crush bones. 

Slaves were often expected to pick around 200 pounds of cotton a day. If a slave fell behind pace, they were whipped. If they were the fastest picker, they were commonly whipped as motivation to pick faster. Everyone had to pick at the same pace as the fastest picker on average. They were not eating full meals or sleeping in a nice bed. They might not even have clothes. This does not include the daily trauma enslaved people faced.

Along with the N-word and its disgusting use, the history of this word was used by slave masters as a term for slaves that were forced to rape their mothers. It was a way for them to genetically breed better slaves before technology. So the strongest, biggest or fastest slaves were blindfolded sometimes and forced to lay with their mothers for the goal of her making another strong, fast, big Black son. These sons were therefore called “motherfuckers.” 

It was always about the masters and the need to stay in control and have power over enslaved people. Enslaved people didn’t matter. 

According to ACLU, reparations were already paid for slavery, but not to the enslaved. They were paid to slave owners. In April 1862, Abraham Lincoln outlawed slavery in Washington, D.C. Lincoln paid slave owners who were loyal to the Union up to $300 for each freed slave. The Lincoln administration paid about $1 million at the time to slave owners in D.C. for loss of property. 

Unfortunately, this is just a scrape of the surface for some of the dark Black histories. To discuss it all would require thousands of books and even then, the entire history may never be known.

Black history is more than just a February trend. Learn about the people who built this country along with other minorities in blood. The following are media which tell the truth about Black history I’d recommend.

“The 13th” is available on Netflix

“Selma” is available on Netflix

“When They See Us” is available on Netflix

“Colin in Black & White” is available on Netflix

“Hood Feminism” is available in all major bookstores

“The Autobiography of Malcolm X” is available in all major bookstores

“Narrative of The Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave” is available in all major bookstores

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