This article provides a much needed inquiry into the legacy of slavery from an interdisciplinary perspective, including the historical, socioeconomic, political, and the epistemic. It makes an important distinction between the legacy of slavery and its persisting damages. By investigating this legacy’s effects on peoples, communities, and societies, it highlights the imperative of situating the pains and sufferings of historical traumas within contemporary structural oppression and institutional discrimination that have perpetuated these harms. The article consists of four sections: it first outlines the legacy of slavery, comprised in instrumentalizing black bodies for economic gains, employing political aggression to colonize both lands and minds, applying racialized discourse to demean and dehumanize, and oppressing people of African descent through structural violence. It then discusses the legacy’s injuries as transgenerational and cultural traumas, and how these wounds are experienced by the relevant communities. The third section focuses on racism as a significant harm, analyzing different forms of racism (internalized, interpersonal, and institutional) as interconnected and mutually reinforcing. To conclude, this article considers challenges in addressing the legacy of slavery and puts forward tentative ideas for collective healing.
Gill, Scherto R.
"Legacies of Slavery and their Enduring Harms,"
Genocide Studies and Prevention: An International Journal:
Available at: https://digitalcommons.usf.edu/gsp/vol15/iss3/10
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