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Get the Black Woman Off the Auction Block

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!

16 replies
  1. Asia Wilson
    Asia Wilson says:

    Wow! This was an amazing post. I never thought about how the different “types” of stereotypical black women seemed to create a personality disorder of the black woman. Really powerful perspective! A lot of the crisis definitely stems from a lack of fatherlessness within the african American community. A lot is a way of coping with hurt and lack of security from fathers and the family unit. Through community and God’s word and healing will the black woman began to find her full identity In Christ. Same as for the black man. Once he sees himself as a symbolism for Christ and His bride, he can feel self-assured in providing the love and protection the black woman needs; what our ancestors weren’t able to experience.

    Reply
  2. Asia Wilson
    Asia Wilson says:

    I think it will be possible to relinquish the black woman from the auction block through a generation of black woman that fully understand and accept that they are no longer in bondage to the pains and hurts that their ancestors felt and experienced but a generation of black women that are free because of what Jesus had done for them on the cross. That they are free in him, healed in him, and loved by him. That freedom, that love is able to spread and diminish the hurts that created the cage to keep them mentally enslaved. It will take time, diligence, and hunger for God’s word and for everyone to experience it but God can do it.

    Reply
    • Jade Lee
      Jade Lee says:

      Yes he can do it and when we remember what has already been accomplished through the faith of our fathers and mothers; hope arises. We realize that nothing is impossible as we trust in our GOD. Let’s dedicate ourselves to seeing this generation you speak of developed through prayer, love, gentleness and education. The journey is now.

      Reply
  3. Amonie
    Amonie says:

    This is an amazing thought-provoking read. I know a lot of people feel that they’ve heard enough about slavery or have an attitude towards the resurfacing topic. But personally, as a people, I believe it is important to know as much about our history as possible. How are we going to understand ourselves, stigmas and constant stumbling blocks within the black community if we don’t? And, an even greater question is, ‘How do we, the black family, move forward if we don’t know what we are moving forward from?” If you don’t see anything wrong, why would you want to change? “THOSE WHO ARE UNAWARE OF HISTORY ARE DESTINED TO REPEAT IT.” -George Santayana

    Definitely enjoy this and learned a lot.

    Reply
    • Jade Lee
      Jade Lee says:

      It is true that we must look back if we want to gain significant forward progress, yet we must be at least properly introduced to the realities of slavery if we are to ever gain enough interest to pursue further education. Thank you precious Amonie for reminding us all of this important truth.

      Reply
  4. Darquise
    Darquise says:

    I love this article. I have been raised by women and through that always had a heart for women and it was always killed me inside to see the way women were treatedand how they are portrayed in the media. I know the article address fathers teaching their daughters and I love that and I would add is brothers have to truly love and support our sisters and destroy the hypermasculine tendencies we posses against women. Fantastic and powerful article with great insight and real hope! Praise God!

    Reply
  5. Laurin
    Laurin says:

    This is great! Wow! This has spoken to me on a very personal level. It has bring a lot of insight to the struggles I’ve seen in my own life. The identity crisis is one that I have too often faced and have fallen into some of the stereotypes. The knowledge and understanding of why we struggle with our identity as black women makes so much sense. From a child I would often feel worthless because my hair and even my skin color wasn’t comparable to other siblings that were favored because they were lighter with “nicer, longer” hair. I too have too often identified with the question written above…”Am I not good enough to be treated as a human being?” It makes so much more sense to me. But I’m also glad that it doesn’t have to remain that way! I can also relate to experiencing the freedom when I finally went to God, the Father for my approval and acceptance. It is also very clear when I’m not going to God for my assurance because I can so easily find myself trying to “find myself” and tempted to change something about myself so I fit what’s “acceptable”. This blog is awesome and definitely give me hope & encouragement! I think many more women would be blessed by this. I’m also thinking about how black women are portrayed in movies, tv shows, etc that display these stereotypes and we subconsciously identify with them and even our little girls try to identify themselves with what they think makes them pretty and accepted. But all that to say, I’m excited for the Nazarite women that will break the trends!

    Reply
    • Jade Lee
      Jade Lee says:

      Sweet Laurin,

      Thank you for sharing your heart with us, both your mountain highs and valley lows. When we are honest with ourselves and others, we all have these challenges, but we are able to rise as we do exactly as you have mentioned- rest in GOD’s Viewpoint of Us. This helps us be set apart as a Nazarite would be and change our world.

      Blessings love!

      Reply
  6. Tia
    Tia says:

    At this stage of my life, I feel hyperaware of my identity as a black woman. Being more involved in the real world, I’ve never felt so undesirable and misunderstood. I feel as if time is moving backwards. I see slavery in everything. I know I have major areas of need because of generational ramifications. I love that I am safe with Christ. But truthfully, I sometimes resent that He’s the only place I feel safe. Not because I’m unfulfilled in Christ, but because I know that churches are like 90% black women. To me, that’s an indicator of pain. I pray that God will raise up Black Nazarite women across America. She needs to be visible.

    Reply
    • Jade Lee
      Jade Lee says:

      Dear Tia,
      Thank you for your fresh perspective and vulnerability. As women of color, many of us experience the emotions you are describing at some time or another. I personally find encouragement in realizing the truth, which you have mentioned, of our current realities and celebrating the many victories we have already achieved by GOD’s Grace. We are a strong, resilient people willing to forgive and love- this is a part of our history for which I am very Thankful. There is a day coming in which GOD will use our Anna experience in the church to preach to the world how to seek Him in difficulty and persecution. Pray for the Nazarite Women, Waiting Women and Preaching Women I personally feel a call to help prepare for this ministry. I know GOD will bless your heartfelt desire to see much needed change!

      Reply
  7. osiga utsalo
    osiga utsalo says:

    wow this was so powerfu!!! i saw myself all up and through this post. A lot of times we as humans (well me) love to think we can figure things out and categorize everything just so we can feel secure. I noticed as i was reading this post that i also put myself and other women into categories like the one’s listed above. Even when i was reading i picked the category i thought i belonged to. I pray that i am able to realize the woman God has created me to be and that he would heal the pain that causes us to be lost. Thank you for this awesome post because it really opened my eyes!

    Reply
    • Jade Lee
      Jade Lee says:

      Sweet Osiga, I’m sure there are many who identify with your eye opening experience; the reality of how much you and I categorize, falling into modern day stereotypes is very sad. But there is hope that as enlightenment comes are we, education frees us to be more than a one dimensional image or prototype. We are multifacted beauties, created with various purposes much like a beautiful prism reflecting brilliant colors in each eye blessed enough to see our value. I pray too that you will once and for all realize the magnificence of who you are, fully healing from generational pain causing you to be lost. Blessings!

      Reply
  8. Ebony J.
    Ebony J. says:

    Great read!

    Often times, during school age, when and if we learn about slavery, a lot of in depth talk of the auction block goes unsaid. That imagery of the true pain and suffering faced by Black women and families is unrecognized. Songs of freedom go unheard. As a result, we become desensitized to the true atrocities and pain of slavery due to the way we’re taught. I would even venture to say that the person teaching on slavery in class or who wrote the book is most times not of African descent.

    Growing up, I definitely remember having an identity crisis! Looking everywhere to find out who I was and never being fully satisfied and as a middle school teacher, it truly burdens my heart to see a generation of girls who lack identity. Pre-teens and teens are desperately wanting to find out who they are. They want to be like the person they see in the magazines, on the music videos, etc. this is where we see how societies influences grossly affect our thoughts about who we are, who we can become, and our thoughts about others who look just like us.

    I would love to learn more about the Black Nazarite Woman. This is the woman whom we don’t hear about often or see in mainstream media. How do we become this woman? How do we raise up more of these women?

    Reply
    • Jade Lee
      Jade Lee says:

      Thank you for your thought provoking, honest comments dear Ebony. I am currently in the finishing stages of a book about this very topic; it will provide a lot of needed insight regarding the Black Nazarite Woman, her characteristics and how we can find our identity once again. We truly need to tap into the emotional connectivity of the slave experience to really understand its horrors and the blessings we enjoy as a very resilient, forgiving people group. I will post it on this website upon completion. Until then, one of my mentees, Paige Smith, recently wrote an article on the Beauty of a Black Woman that I believe you will thoroughly enjoy. You can find it by searching “beauty” on this site or simply clicking here: http://jadelee.org/?p=3933 Enjoy!

      Reply

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