African American Studies
13 February 2011
“Breaking The Chains Of Psychological Slavery”
Have you ever known the psychological thought of slavery? Well, if not then you’re not alone. Growing up, all throughout elementary, middle, and high school I was taught the basic things about slavery, but not the psychological understandings. When I read this book by Na’im Akbar, I was beginning to understand what was happening in those slavery days. The author’s views upon slavery were very similar to mine, but I enjoyed reading the book. In chapter one, The Psychological Legacy of Slavery includes blacks attitudes toward work, property, the clown, personal inferiority, community division, the family, and color discrimination. I agree with everything that Dr. Akbar states in this chapter, except for black’s attitudes towards work. He stated that many of black’s attitudes towards work are a result of our slavery experiences. Those negative experiences associated with work continue to function as unconscious influences on us that make us respond in ways which may be contrary to our conscious intention. I do not agree with this because I am an African American myself. From experience many black’s attitudes toward work does not come from slavery experiences, only because everybody didn’t have those types of negative experiences as being a slave or working in today’s society. But, I do agree with Dr. Akbar when he states that over 300 years experienced in slavery’s brutality and unnaturalness constituted a severe psychological and social shock in the minds of African-Americans legacy of slavery towards working. While, the historian has touched on the realities of slavery (past events), psychologists and sociologists "have failed to attend to the persistence of problems in our mental and social lives which clearly have roots in slavery”, said Dr. Akbar. In chapter two, it talks about Liberation from Mental Slavery, but Dr. Akbar views in this...