Will You Keep Your Slave Name?
ServantOfAllah 2012/02/01 12:08:17
In the story Roots, Kunta Kinte finds himself whipped be the master, told that his name is no longer Kunta, but Toby. When asked what his name is, Kunta bravely refuses to call himself Toby again and again replying, "Kunta. My name is Kunta Kinte." But in the end the beatings won out. Kunta finally relented and replied to the master, "Toby".
The story goes on but here is where I ask you to reach into your mind and understand that the character Kunta was a man. I do not recall the entirety of the film, but it's likely Kunta had only ever considered himself a man, perhaps of one family or tribe, but still a man, the supreme creation of nature on Earth. Now, having met these slavers, he is told that he is not a man. He is told that he is a negro, inferior, unintelligent, animalistic, marked by the characteristic dark skin tone and wide nostrils of a half human half ape, given to them by God to dominate at will. From then on the men with dark skin would be called many names, some by their own choice, having bought into the idea that they were indeed different from other Americans, they were Africanamericans, and not men but blackmen. And of course men with light skin still call themselves white men, as though everyone didn't notice their skin color already.
The vision of Kunta haunts me. He just wanted to be Kunta, but the institution made him say he was something else. They not only made him say he was Toby, they made him feel like a black man instead of a hu-man.
Will you call yourself a black/white/etc person, or will you throw away your racist "slave" name and just call yourself a person from now on?
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