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3Slavery conditioning is the process slave masters used to psychologically make abetter slave. Author Kenneth Stampp, in his book,
The Peculiar Institution
, outlinesthe four pillars of conditioning a slave. Included were fear, loyalty, inferiority, andhatred. When making a slave the first thing you do is to instill fear. Second, youteach the slave to have loyalty only to his master. Thirdly, you teach them to feelinferior by always showing Whites in a position of authority. Lastly, you teach themto hate anything connected to Africa.The methods used to socially condition Blacks were horrific and indicative of thevicious nature of the enslavement process. O
ne example, cited from the “Cardinalprinciples for making a Negro”, the writer says:
“Take the meanest and most restless nigger, strip him of his clothes in front of the
. . . [slaves], tar and feather him, tie each leg to a different horse faced in opposite directions, set him afire and beat both horses to pull him apart in front of the remaining nigger(s). The next step is to take a bullwhip and beat the remaining
nigger to the point of death in front of the female and infant. Don’t kill him but put
he fear of God in him, for he can be useful in future breeding.”
Make a Slave,
Robert L. BrockNorman Coombs, in
The Black Experience in America
, pp. 40 wrote, “The social
conditioning process instilled strict discipline in Blacks, a sense of inferiority, belief
in the slave owners’ superior power, acceptance of the slave owners’ standards and a
deep sense of a slave helplessness and dependence.
The slave owners cut Blacksoff from their history, culture, language and community, and implanted White
society’s value system”.
C. Clark in a 1972 monumental article for
BlackStudies or the Study of Black People in R. Jones
, states: “In order to fully
grasp the magnitude of our current problems, we must reopen the books on the events of slavery. Our objective should not be to cry stale tears for the past,or to rekindle old hatreds for past injustices. Instead, we should seek to enlighten our path of today by better understanding where and how the lights were turned out yesterday.
We should also understand that slavery should be viewed as a starting point forunderstanding the African American psyche, and not as an end. Therefore, the