Being enslaved for two hundred and fifty years, black people were kept alive physically only to be put to death in every other possible way. Slavery had put black people to death economically, socially, and politically and it had forced them to bury their true thoughts and emotions. Emancipation proclamation did not address nor redress the shackles that extended far beyond the physical. Chattel slavery had stripped all humanities, and dignities from blackness; it had demonized, weaponized, and ostracized blackness to the point that blackness had become a new form of the shackle. The formerly enslaved black people are now shackled by their own blackness, had limited options in an unknown, unsafe, and unfriendly society that was alien to them. Yes, they had “feet-freedom”(to some extent)but they were still landless, uneducated, unemployed, unprotected, and unloved people. The arms of society did not welcome nor comforted them, the heart of society did not extend its love nor care towards them, and the eyes of society ignored their miseries and struggles. We were left to struggle with the burden that slavery had bestowed upon us on our own. People obstacles tend to be external or something other than themselves, they struggle with these external forces and are burden by these forces. But this is not the case with black people; we were faced with something new. When we wake up our burden is with us, when we look in the mirror this burden is looking back at us; we came from the womb with this burden and everywhere we go this burden is with us. Our own skin, our black skin have become our biggest burden and from this bondage, the emancipation of proclamation could not free us from.
Sometimes in life, people put things in motion that they are not able to stop; not because people have the power to start something does not mean that they have the power to bring it to an end. Those who had put black people in bondage were not capable to fully take them out of bondage even if they really wanted to. The system of slavery is like a man sparking a fire that has turned into a wildfire which he has lost all control of. The chains and shackles of slavery have transmuted their physical form and took on mental and emotional forms that extended far beyond the reach of any emancipation of proclamation. The mental and emotional scars were too deep and the chains and shackles are now fused into black people’s skins, black people’s minds, and black people’s emotions; chattel slavery had outgrown the hands of its makers. People are not only physical beings, they are also mental and emotional beings; whatever affect the physical aspect also affect the mental and emotional aspect of a people. The enslavers only needed black people to stay alive physically in order to exploit their black bodies, they had no interest in keeping them alive mentally and emotionally. They attempted to separate black people’s bodies from their minds and emotions; they forced black bodies on plantation prisons while sentenced their minds and emotions to death by injecting them with poisonous lies, miseducation, and self-hatred. The emancipation of proclamation had set only one-third of the black man free (the physical) but it was powerless to set the other two-thirds of the black man free (the mind and emotions). This monstrous task was left for black people to do on their own, and to this day we are struggling with the task of liberating ourselves from mental and emotional slavery.