It’s against religious, legal, ethical, and moral standards to enslave another human being. Those in charge 500 years ago legally defined African Americans as less than human, only 3/5ths of a human being, to give power and credence to the right to capture and enslave them. And that is what they did for 300 years. There are about 12 generations in 300 years of lineage. So now, most of us “hit the slavery wall” and can go no further after identifying only 3 or 4 generations in our bloodline. At that point, we are cataloged namelessly and shamelessly in Farmer’s Almanacs and Government census records alongside an owner’s property and livestock.

Some have asked us to forget about that past and move on. Let it go; what’s done is done, to do this without any acknowledgment of our nation’s cruel history. We are still grappling with this skewed version of “so-called” freedom, maybe because we’re only 157 years into something most races have known their entire existence. How can someone be expected to forget what has and is happening just because it makes someone else uncomfortable or ashamed? Look around; the past is still repeated in the present and in our presence.

Today, some governmental, municipal, religious, and educational institutions have taken it further by drafting legislation and creating moral guidance to stop all candid discussions about this portion of American history from being shared in classrooms, congregations, and curriculums which is another dire attempt to alter, control or soften a narrative too hard for some to digest. Many moral-minded citizens hope to meekly do like some of their ancestors, knowing it was wrong, go along quietly with the majority, ignore it, and hope that all would be forgotten over time. It has not been forgotten and remains a national open wound, one that continues to fester from centuries of unaddressed malice, ongoing discriminatory acts, and unbridled political power to suppress history.

Just watch the daily news if you need more proof of this systemic and self-perpetuating virus. Not a week goes by without our dirty laundry on public display. No Change, No Chains. If you need to put a face on it to help you connect the dots or need more “real-life” data to act, then I’ll proudly be your reference. Please read about my experiences in 59 Prime’s, Chapter 4, “My Headwinds.” Unfortunately, this dark cloud is as American as baseball and apple pie; only it’s been around a lot longer.

About the Author Michael K. Francis

Michael is a C-Suite Business and Human Resources Executive with more than 30 years of professional experience in the public sector with four Fortune 500 companies, and as a Management Consultant. In 2020, he founded BEAM Executive Advisors, LLC to provide consultative services to clients based on collaborative relationships, trust, and integrity.

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