We’ve all heard it, Abraham Lincoln freed “the slaves”. And now with the release of the films “Lincoln” and
that horrid “Django Unchained” and the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, the media is using the term “the slaves” on a more than regular basis.
Referring to African Americans who lived before the Emancipation Proclamation as ‘slaves’ or “the slaves” reduces the humanity of those people by making it seems as though that is all they were. Secondly, using those terms also makes it seem as if they were somehow complicate.
- Make (someone) a slave.
- Cause (someone) to lose freedom of choice or action.
One that is completely subservient to a dominating influence.
Those African Americans were not slaves or “the slaves” they were enslaved or the enslaved. By referring to them as being enslaved it is clear that others forced them into that plight.
This has bothered me for sometime. I hope that people will stop referring to those African Americans as slaves or “the slaves’ and refer to them properly as people who were enslaved and held in bondage.
Do the references “slaves” and “The Slaves” bother you?
Do you prefer the reference “enslaved”?
Have you considered this before?