Content Warning: The following story contains graphic details about rape, sexual assault, and torture.
Rape. Sexual exploitation. Depraved violence. This was the reality of our enslaved ancestors. And while we often discuss the disturbing sexual abuse women faced, men also were victims.
Masters wanted to totally control their “property” and sexual violence was wielded as a weapon. For example, if an enslaved man was having a relationship with an enslaved woman the master desired, castration or genital mutilation was a likely consequence.
“Buck breaking” was another form of sexual punishment used to embarrass and destroy their self-esteem and personhood.
After being stripped naked and flogged, an enslaved man was raped in front of a public crowd as a warning. Men’s children and families were forced to witness the abuse to further “prove” the “inferiority” of Black men.
On sex farms, Black people were used like animals for breeding. An enslaved man could be forced to rape at least six women a day to increase the likelihood of offspring. It didn’t matter if the woman was a family member - perverse masters wanted more Black people to enslave.
White supremacy manifests in horrific ways. For many enslaved Black men, it manifested as this extreme sexual abuse used to eradicate any semblance of self-worth.
We can take this as a reminder to be loving and compassionate with our people, as many of us still carry this trauma deep within us.