The Black Slaves were placed on auction blocks to be sold, bringing to mind the spiritual, “No More Auction Block for Me.” Our forefathers would actually sing this song to encourage themselves as soldiers and freed men during the Civil War:
No more auction block for me
No more, no more
No more auction block for me
Many thousand gone
No more peck of corn for me…
No more driver’s lash for me…
No more pint of salt for me…
No more hundred lash for me…
No more mistress’ call for me…
The words to this song hit the human spirit deeply, almost taking one’s breath away. This song speaks of the atrocities of slavery, painting a vivid picture of the slave’s day-to-day reality. The reality of standing on a block to be sold, pecking corn for a slavemaster while being whipped by the driver’s lashes and the fear of being called in as the slave master’s mistress and raped.
Interestingly enough, “We Shall Overcome” is in the same tune as the opening and closing of “No More Auction Block for Me”. Both became great movement songs of encouragement for the Black Community during times of needed freedom.
The auction blocks experience was also horrific for the black family, explaining the struggle with separation and break down in the black family unit today.
Mothers were separated from their own children, fathers were split apart from wives and children, siblings were divided from one another never to meet again! Unless one has experienced this atrocity, there is no way to fathom the pain that must have been felt or seen in the eyes of a child as he watched his mother pulled away from him.
There is no way to understand fully the pain that must have echoed throughout the open air as shrilling screams of families once so close were separated. These families knew they were all they had, they were a close knit community in Africa and now their entire structure was being torn apart for greed and lust.
And the women were once again brought to the lowest of lows, standing naked on a block of wood to be examined, violated and sold as a piece of clothing or furniture:
“Physical examination included looking for obvious signs of disease or infirmity, and looking for signs of punishment, such as welts from whipping. This might signal a slave that was hard to control and who should not be purchased…Neither buyer nor seller shied away from intimate inspection of female slaves. A woman’s breast and pelvic area were often examined in an attempt to determine her child-bearing potential. A separate room or screened-off areas was often provided for these inspections.” (Burton, p. 16)
The self esteem and degradation of the black woman has truly been effected by the deep painful wounds of white men taking advantage of them as slave pieces and prizes. The effects of this deep pain has manifested itself in self hatred, the type of hatred that says, “Am I not good enough to be treated as a human being?” It has manifested itself in a reverse type of psychological distortion, the desire to be a white woman, to be the opposite of who she is for maybe this white woman would be treated at the least as a human.
It has manifested itself in the appearance of the Jezebel figure in pop culture, the media and throughout our streets. “Is this my identity?” asks the black woman desparately desiring the truth on who she really is! The pain has manifested itself in the appearance of the mammy, a poor, overweight servant woman, the mammy, or mother, who raised everybody’s children including the task of breast feeding them all as a daily job.
The pain manifests itself in these stereotypes originally displayed by whites as false images of the black woman, then later accepted by some black woman as a societal norm due to a lack of understanding of the root of these historic archetypes.
One author even goes as far as identifying more modern types of black women seen in media as a display of who the black woman is mentioning providing the following types: 1. The ’hood Chick, 2. The Boojie Chick, 3. The Big Momma, 4. The Black Indie Girl, 5. The Butch Dyke, 6. The Ghetto Fab Chick, 7. The Afrocentric Chick, 8. The Big, Beautiful Black Woman (BBBW), 9. The Angry/Aggressive/Abusive Black Mother, 10. The Church Lady, 11. The Upper-Class, Intellectual, Black Female Elite. (www.drmasonsclasses.com/contemporary-black-female-archetypes/ by, Kenneth)
All of these “types” of women are an attempt to define and provide identity to today’s black woman. None of them are holistically the definition of a black woman and all of them have lacks and signs of an identity crisis and deeper need for spiritual healing due to the long reaching effects of slavery- mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually- in the black woman.
I believe the black woman (and community) is still in a state of shock that will only be healed through the healing of the soul and holistic spiritual deliverance (which includes the spirit, the soul, and the body):
3 John 1:2 Beloved I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers. (emphasis mine)
This is not a type of hiding away to the church to avoid the true pains of life, yet never fully realizing complete healing in the depths of one’s soul…turning to food or other hidden pleasures to provide fulfillment. Neither is it a delving into the sexual sin that once gripped you in a sad acceptance and bowing down to the captivity of sexual exploitation- all in desperate hopes for some sort of twisted acceptance.
This is not a surface type of healing and acceptance in one’s social status or outward display of “arrival.” And the angry black woman, portraying the rage deep within from years of oppression and being stepped upon as “the least of these” has yet to find true healing from this state of angry shock, taking out displaced anger on the very family she longs to love.
This acceptance and healing does not come in a display as an extravagant outward beauty or by being a “Big Momma”. And it does not come from being a lesbian type of feminist who displays her aggression and hate of the lack of a fatherly presence and hurt by men.
Nor is it found in going back to one’s African identity alone. It is not found in being sexually promiscuous with man after man.
The very fact that these African American archetypes have increased over time displays a multiple personality disorder in the identity of the black woman. It reveals the deep, internal search for identity in the heart of this woman.
She is saying, “Will somebody please tell me who I am?”
This need is found by the fathers of the faith telling daughters their identity is in Christ alone. But even if the natural fathers are not there the spiritual fathers should step in to give this to our black daughters. If the spiritual fathers do not do it, we will have to rely on God, the Father, to step in miraculously to provide this healing. Only He can ultimately heal the wounded heart of our women.
There is one type of black woman that is yet to be seen! The Black Nazarite! This one will draw the black female back to her very core and identity, breaking the Jezebel and Delilah covenant from off of their lives. She is the new 21st Century woman, who does not find her identity in the pages of a magazine, the façade of Hollywood or fame; instead, she finds her identity in the place of devoted prayer, consecration and a set apart, yet balanced life.
This woman does not run away from society due to fear of experiencing more pain. She has truly learned the art of living in the world but not allowing her identity to come from the world around her. She finds her identity in intimacy with Jesus and the approval of her Father in Heaven. She enjoys her family life and is a great mother, wife and career woman, but all is in proper perspective and not out of a deeper lack or need for acceptance.
She has learned to be abased and lowly, to live through times of need, but she has also learned to live in prosperous times—all while keeping the material as a resource to give God more fame, not as some sort of false identity.
She is the Nazarite woman of today.
If you are unknowingly carrying any of these stereotypes I encourage you to ask GOD to give You His perspective of the black woman and yourself so you may walk in the liberty He desires for us all.
What are your thoughts on the stereotypes black women have been labeled as and how to finally get Off the Auction Block of society’s grip? Do you see areas of need in your own life due to generational ramifications? Please share in the comments and I’d love to chat with you!