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True Emancipation

President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamations on January 1, 1863 which freed slaves in confederate states. He passed the 13th amendment to the US Constitution on December 6, 1865. This officially ended the physical practice of slavery in the United States. However, Juneteenth was not celebrated until June 19, 1866, two years after the emancipation of slaves, the first time slaves discovered they were freed.

I am asked to do training on diversity, equity, and inclusion in companies to bring awareness to the challenges of race relations in corporate America. I always begin my training with a brief history lesson on racism in the world. I focus on hatred and the behavior that hatred yields and how hatred manifests in the hearts of people. This education is necessary if our relationships are to improve. Hatred and intolerance are the root for all racial tensions in the world. Ignorance is also a subset of racism.

I also discuss the need to understand the mental and emotional scarring that slavery has done to races. The Emancipation Proclamation ended the physical oppression of slavery, but the mental oppression transcends through generations. Slavery created several mindsets in Black Americans, 1) Blacks will never be equal to Whites, 2) Black women have more value than Black men, 3) Religion should be used to control, not liberate, 4) It is perfectly acceptable for Blacks to bring children into the world without the union or covenant of marriage, 5) Blacks are not entitled to wealth or economic sustainability, 6) Blacks of a lighter hue are more likely to succeed in life than Blacks of a darker hue, 7) learning to read and write (education) are benefits for the rich, and 8) Blacks should look out for their own interests and not the interests of their race.

These mindsets have plagued the Black race for decades and have made it nearly impossible for Blacks to experience true emancipation. Therefore, within many subsets of the Black culture, these mindsets prevail and have destroyed the foundation for Black families. The statistics that chart Black Americans support these mindsets and lend credence to the stereotypes surrounding Black Americans. In addition, many of these mindsets are passed down to children from generation to generation, reducing hope and shattering dreams. Yes, there are many successful Blacks that have left their mark on history. Blacks have excelled in education, finance, industry, technology, politics. religion, sports, and entertainment; however, many of these achievements are individual. These individual have used their monetary success in very charitable ways, but as a whole the mindsets of many Black people remain enslaved to the oppressive systems of the world.

True emancipation begins with Blacks understanding their purpose and significance as a race and refusing to compromise with the world's depictions. True emancipation begins with Blacks taking advantage of the academic and training opportunities afforded to them, capitalizing on the benefits of education. True emancipation begins with Blacks seeing themselves equal to Whites and other races and not begging to be accepted in society. Lastly, true emancipation begins with every Black person using their competitive and economic advantages to assist other Blacks in moving beyond the self-destructive norms and socio-economic status of a bruised and broken people.

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