If you have been an Inclusion Insight subscriber for at least 13 months, you know BHM is not my favourite. If you search in this blog under Black History Month, you’ll find some reasons why.
This year, my plan is to share some insights every week to deepen your awareness and sharpen your lens.
This week, I encourage you to consider the power of words.
Specifically “slaves” vs “enslaved”.
Oxford defines slave as: a person who is the legal property of another
Oxford defines enslaved as: “to make someone a slave”
Often during this month (in North America, anyway) we focus on slavery. When we do this, we use the word slave. It is true that Africans and then African Americans were enslaved in the USA and Canada, and therefore were slaves.
However, in the spirit of a fuller appreciation for Black history in our countries, and in recognizing how the brain makes mental associations, consider how linking African American or Black with slave creates a specific way of seeing people who are Black. Still.
Notice the difference when we use the word enslaved instead.
Enslaved begs the question, “by whom?”. Which promotes some thought about the act of enslaving, the context within which slavery occurred, and the possibility of imagining people beyond that circumstance.
Try it for yourself.
Start a conversation.
See what happens next…