The Soul of America: The Indomitable Humanity of Enslaved Africans

One of the most peculiar aspects of addressing the past is the inability to recognize the fact that these are actually fully functioning people who held the same range of emotions, hopes, and dreams as those living within contemporary society. Such issues become more daunting when discussing the existence of stolen Africans ensnared within American chattel slavery.

Despite many attempts to dehumanize and objectify the aforementioned population of individuals who produced today’s African-American population, they were fully functioning human beings and most definitely more humane than their captives could have ever hoped to have been. One must remember that the shame of slavery does not rest upon the shoulders of the enslaved Africans, no, that weight rest fully and squarely upon those who exploited the African for purely financial means. Money had become, and one could argue still remains, their God.

Toward illuminating whom this population of individuals were that survived the hellish slave system, Franklin Delano Roosevelt commissioned writers to record the stories of the last living descendants of American chattel slavery during the Great Depression to capture this most unfortunate aspect of American history. What follows here, is that story.

Dr. James Thomas Jones III


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