These 4 Myths About Slavery Are Still Told Daily

Flogging a slave fastened to the ground
Abeni Jones
March 12, 2020

Racists love to tell lies about slavery to downplay its harsh brutality, feel less guilty, and deny its continued impact on our lives. We’ve previously gone over the Top 3 Slavery Lies - here are four MORE dangerous lies that keep getting told about slavery.

Lie #1: Few whites actually owned enslaved Africans.

The truth? Nearly a THIRD of white families owned enslaved Africans. More importantly, though, the entire society was built around slavery, meaning ALL whites benefited from it.

Lie #2: Black people willingly fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War.

People use this lie to argue that many enslaved people were happy and loyal. The truth is, enslaved people were forced to cook and clean for Confederate soldiers - but they weren’t soldiers, and it definitely wasn’t “willing.”

Lie #3: “House slaves” had it much better than “field slaves.”

Most of the “house slaves” were women, who faced constant brutality - including frequent rape - both from mistresses and masters. They were nearer than those in the fields, meaning mistreatment was often more consistent. 

Rape of “house slaves” was so common that Black Americans today have, on average, 16.7% white DNA!

Lie #4: Enslaved people were timid, docile, and/or loyal.

This is part of the “happy, content slave” myth. It’s connected to stereotypes that Black people thrive under tight control and with simple, basic, physical tasks because of our lack of intelligence. 

The truth is that we consistently fought back, from ship revolts before even reaching the Americas to thousands of rebellions over the centuries!

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