Slavery

Slavery looks like the dry, cracked, ebony skin of a slave streaked with the hard, passionate tears shed from days gone by that, like an angry war scar, scream the story, the hardships, and the pain that the slave carries with him. It’s an unbearable weight that never goes away. Slavery looks like a mother fighting and screaming for the life of her child, watching helplessly as they drag her innocent child’s body away from her, away from the mother the child would never see again. A mother’s eyes flaring with rage, never showing fear, never succumbing to the men holding her down, whipping her to her last breath.

Slavery sounds like the harsh beating of a whip against the soft, quiet, skin of a slave. The whip is a drum, strong and loud. With every lash it whispers pain and steals pride. With every tear shed it gains power, thriving off a slave’s pain. The whip gets stronger, the lashes louder till it reaches the utmost peak of pain.

Slavery feels like hard shackles across ankles and wrists. It feels like restraint and disrespect. A never ending day or a never ending life. Slavery feels like a sorrow has seeped in your heart and refuses to leave. It lingers overhead, making a slave weak. It consumes the slave and drives them mad. Slavery can feel like pain, it can feel like agony, but most of all slavery feels like sorrow, a never ending sadness for the loved ones they had lost and the home they had been parted from forever.

Slavery tastes like the tears shed, the blood spilled, and the flesh torn from a slave that has not been good enough, worked hard enough, or shown reputable enough in the cruel eyes of a slave’s master. The eyes that judge a slave too weak, too short, or too disobedient to be a worthy slave. The eyes that make the tears shed, the eyes that make the blood spill, and the eyes that make the flesh tear.

Slavery smells like the hot burning metal of a branding stick that is fresh out of the fire. Waiting to burn the skin of a slave. Waiting to secure the slave as property. Waiting to own the slave forever. The smoke curls of the hot metal. It smells strong, it is an overwhelming scent that fills the air. The smoke curls off the metal, circling the open neck of its victim. Slavery smells like prison. It smells like a life in captivity. Slavery smells like the metal, the fire, and the smoke that bind the slave to its master forever, never to be free again.

Slavery is not just pages in a book. Slavery is not just a unit lesson we learn in school. Slavery is the dark past that guilts us all. We learn about slavery, about how it took the lives of so many, how it was cruel and wrong. What we do not learn, however, is what is between the lines. The stories of so many families being separated from each other. The cruel whippings that people gather to watch as if they were a play for enjoyment. Or the deep sorrow that the slaves carry with them, the sadness that makes being a slave so cruel and so wrong. Slavery is dark and hard to learn about. It is sad and hurts to hear but to fully understand slavery is to embrace all the

sadness and all the pain that a slave felt so we can fully understand what slavery is. It is cruel, wrong and dark. It is hurtful and painful. It is any and every word in the dictionary that expresses sorrow, pain, and guilt. Slavery is the past but we will never forget the dark days that haunt the world forever.





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