Wednesday, May 28, 2008

slaves to whom?

legacy of his birth got blurred over the years
by the virtue of their skin colour
his ancestors were captured as slaves
although looked down upon,
women bore the brunt of lust
which cannot differentiate
between skin tones in darkness of night

illegal from the point of view of nature
however, is no match for brute force
power, and much greed
body broken, beaten, maimed
but spirit for freedom remains same.
now with a decree of law
he is set free. from what? to where?

"why were his ancestors enslaved in the first place?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I am currently reading Roots by Alex Haley. Twenty five years after reading Uncle Tom's Cabin. I only have one question about the slave trade. Why? And why did it go on so long? Any human being irrespective of his skin colour has every right to be free. In any part of the world. I know there are no easy answers. However, I feel this is a blot on history that something like this happened. Maybe I am seeking simple answers for so complex an issue.


20 comments:

ozymandiaz said...

Don't know if you're aware ofthis but the slave trade is alive and well in this world. It holds differant guises and hides in differant lands but ti is there. Hell, last year, in my home state of FLorida, they busted plantation with the 'ol company store ploy. Ya know, illegal alians and indigents find work in a remote location where there is ONE store to buy from but the cost of everything is more thatn they can make so
bam
instant slave.
In the far and middle east there are sex slaves.
Hell, it is everywhere.
We will never progress treating each other like property.

pia said...

It's not a simple question
Slavery has been around in various forms since the beginning of humankind

Hopefully someday we will be more evolved.

mariacristina said...

There are so many blots, but I agree, slavery in so-called modern times seems outrageous. And living with the descendants of slaves on a daily basis makes life problematic. The scars don't heal in 150 years. Who knows how long it takes to heal from a wound so deep?

lovely poem, with a strong moral compass.

Lucy said...

powerful post Gautami. Slavery is such a sick crime. Unfortunately, Barbaric as it is, Like Ozymandiaz said, It STILL exists today. Recently in my local news a rich couple held two foreign women against their will and tortured them while making them work like animals. Thank god this couple was arrested and the women freed. Unbelievable to know such horrible people exist.

keith hillman said...

I echo the other comments here. A modern day curse in the UK is the 'import' of girls from Eastern Europe with the promise of a home and a job, only to find themselves as prostitutes and sex slaves. Will it ever end? Until human nature changes, the sad answer has to be no.

Zouxzoux said...

A very sobering and sensitive post. I fear as long as humankind exists there will be those who exploit and use others for their own egos and sense of power. In truth, they are truly monsters and cowards.

Tammy said...

Why? Is a question that I'll never grasp and I have read many books on the horrific treatment of African slaves. Good question!

gautami tripathy said...

In India too, there are many places where slavery is very much there in one form or the other. One is child labour and bonded labours. There are laws against those. But these still persist.

Maybe it is deeply embedded in our psyche to own all that we wish. Even another human being.

Donn said...

WHY?
Because the Europeans were Christians with a God given mandate, from the one true GOD, to have dominion over the world..
and that certainly included godless heathens..
especially if they were dark and primitive.

When I was still a boy the Southern States still had segregated Cafeterias, Schools, Neighbourhoods...it boggles my mind that it took so long for such a simple concept to be legally mandated and socially acknowledged.

We hold these Truths to be self evident...ya right!

Whitesnake said...

Seems ta me ya blog is called rooted and ya reading a book called roots and the root of all evil is the human need to dominate and possess ..... strange brew indeed.

We are all slaves to something or someone ...... what are you a slave to?

Me? I'm a slave to my feelings....
"Big Sigh!"

Jane Doe said...

Very good poem, very powerful. Slavery is a travesty that still occurs today, but is rarely reported in the news. It is sad to say that it continues in our 'enlightened society' but it is alive and well.

Redness said...

The way you used the three words is astounding, thought provoking ... well done!!

anthonynorth said...

An important question at the end, there. I suppose because people can have power over another, and think they are above them.

sage said...

power words, I love your political poems that tackle tough problems the human race faces--unfortunately, long after the African slavery ended in hte USA, American lawmen in the West were know to return runaway Chinese women to the Chinese men who were their owners/pimps...

Although slavery isn't legal in most places, it does still go on

Daily Panic said...

I grew up in the south in the 70's. My father was from Oregon and my mother from overseas. I did not grow up with the ideals that a lot of my friends families did towards segregation. I couldn't understand why a person of a different skin color was any different than I was. Slavery is horrible, whatever the form, even in modern day labor. Karma will get people who have no value for human life.

TC said...

women bore the brunt of lust
which cannot differentiate
between skin tones in darkness of night


That's a fabulous point Gautami.

I don't think there are easy answers, and I'm pessimistic enough to believe there never will be. I enjoyed this read though, and the thought that went into it.

one more believer said...

great post g... i always wanted to go to WA DC and visit that huge abe lincoln monument... and ask him... did it really work and was it all worth the fight he fought... to some i suppose yes, to others maybe not so...

LAWRENCE said...

Greed is the answer to all your questions about slavery. I like that your poem is about a topic that you are reading about. Never read Roots, but the movie series is awesome. It left quite an impression on me since I was a child at the time I watched.

polona said...

powerful poem raising questions i don't know the answers...

A Tag Along Traveler said...

I always wondered that myself....about a lot of history. Very stirring poem. I have Roots on my list of books to read....its a very long list. :)