"Until the mid 19th century, the enslavement of men, women and children by all manner of nations was perhaps the greatest of all cruelties that one person could possible inflict upon another. While enslavement occured to many kinds of peoples for thousands of years, it was the black person who was to experience it more than any other during most recent times. Even after slavery was abolished in 1833, black people have constantly suffered from racial discrimination and were still being lynched in America until fifty years ago by members of the Ku Klux Klan. Apartheid continued to exist until 1970 in America and the late 1990s in South Africa. Many would argue that it still exists in Australia today.
The greatest evil since slavery was abolished subtly changed to one of racial discrimination. During the years immediately following the civil right marches in America many organisations used the colloquial slogan of the time, ' Black is beautiful' to remind themselves along with the rest of the white world that the colour of a person's skin can never define their character nor designate their role within society or the type of work and standard of living they are entitled to enjoy.
The people of the free world today owe so much to the bravery and the dignity that has been displayed over hundred of years by the black-skinned person fighting slavery and discrimination; and although discrimination still undoubtedly exists between all manner of peoples in the world today, the tone of skin colour isn't usually the main distinguishing factor that defines it! Is this a kind of progress or does it simply represent society changing around the chairs on a sinking ship, and whilst abandoning one kind of discrimination, adopting another form that is more in vogue?"
Yesterday, me and Sheila went to the cinema to watch '12 years as a slave.' The film was excellent and thoroughly informative, and it most certainly deserves to win an Oscar. Indeed, I heard this morning that it was picked as 'Best Film Drama' at the Golden Globe Awards. What made it so poignant for me was its central message: That we are all born free men and women and the fact that some of us have been 'enslaved' and had our freedoms denied to us does not make us slaves or stop us being free men and women. 'Enslavement' remains as global a trade today as it always was, but has changed its presenting characteristics. It can emerge as the result of laws, actions, attitudes, restricted trade, low wages, the denial of basic needs and the imposed unfair circumstances of others. One doesn't necessarilly have to be stolen from one's home and shipped across the sea to be sold to be considered 'enslaved' anymore. Removing one's access to the basic aspects of food, warmth, shelter and employment is felt to be the new economic and social enslavement of many people today." William Forde: January 13th,2014.