February is Black History Month – Part II

Human beings tend to only know, and therefore truly understand, their own experiences in life. Temperaments and attitudes, beliefs and mores, and the difference between right and wrong are attributes passed from one generation to another. According to science .com temperament is genetic, passed from mother to son, and father to daughter. Some of the attributes mentioned above are passed through genetics and others are learned behaviors taught by example.

Between the first slaves being imported in 1619, and the Emancipation Proclamation signed in 1862, the U.S. participated in slavery for 243 years. Assuming 25-30 years pass between generations (the cycle between a child growing to adulthood and having their own child, who in turn grows up and has their own child), eight to ten generations of a family were born into slavery. Since slavery was abolished, 159 years have passed, meaning five to six generations of descendants of enslaved African Americans have been born into freedom. With this in mind, It’s not surprising that some of the anger, frustration and hatred felt by the first slaves might still exist among their current day descendants through both their genetics and environment.

Many of the northern states of our nation abolished slavery before 1800, allowing African Americans in those states to live freely and explore the possibilities available, while still experiencing political and emotional setbacks to the movement to abolish slavery.

 

 

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