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Prune Juice Media | April 21, 2014

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Slaves Who Built the White House Could Finally Be Recognized

| On 15, Feb 2012

Are the black slaves that built the White House ever going to get their just due? (Photo by RLRouse.com)

This is one of those stories I didn’t think we would still be discussing in 2012.

It seems, however, that Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-NY) has taken the initiative to remind the White House that it needs to pay respect to those who built the structure. It’s well-known in some circles of history that black slaves played a significant role in construction of the building where President Obama rests his head at night.

Ackerman wrote a letter to the White House asking them to offer public acknowledgements on the property showing the contributions of slaves to the facility. He offered the advice after consulting with a New York activist, Mandingo Tshaka.

“[T]he American way has always been to acknowledge our wrongs and constantly strive for better. It is wrong not to acknowledge wrongs,” Ackerman said in his letter to President Obama.

For some reason, though, slaves are not officially commended for the years of FREE labor they provided to one of the most recognizable buildings in the U.S. The contributions slaves made to the U.S. Capitol were recognized just two years ago.

This is pretty sad, if you ask me.

The White House opened in 1800. Slaves worked in the building until the mid-1860′s when slavery was officially abolished by President Abraham Lincoln.

In fact, the federal government rented slaves from local landowners for $5.00/person every month to help during the building’s construction phase. In today’s dollars that would be a little more than $63/person every month, which shows just how disposable (and cheap) slaveholders thought of their “cargo.”

I’m sorry, but 212 years is a mighty long time to go without thanking a group of people for their building contributions. Talk about procrastination!! Damn…

The lack of acknowledgement so far from federal officials does not surprise me. The U.S. has always had a hard time admitting the economic, social, and physical benefits that slaves offered to the nation. Hopefully, President Obama will step up to the plate and finally correct this.

Comments

  1. Rosalyn Langston

    As a afro anerican woman. I was so happy that i just learned the my ancestos built the white,and im so proud that we have a afro american president to be in the white house wow!!!! our race is so powerful…
    thank you….

  2. guest

    I have read the contents of "They Are Still Our Slaves…etc." The essence of the article that stands out is "We are aware of the power that we wield over you and we INTEND to continue to utilize your weaknesses (that we initiated) to keep the power that we have to immortalize your oppression" ! Facts: The United States of America is a capitalist bureaucracy.Money (finances) rules,"those" who control the purse-strings are in charge.The tiniest effort of a Black person to rise into academia,lift himself from poverty,start small business,is under such intense scrutiny that it can be mind-bending unless the person has a strong constitution (as I did) and a determination that they will not be beat down.Many times,a few Blacks will be allowed to the apex of their desires in this society,in attempt by our White racist administrators to prove it is not "truly racist" ! So expert in practices of racism is North American bureaucracy that it even uses Black-on-Black disruption to further implement the plan.All these subterranean manipulations of white supremacy,along with human development of greed and selfishness resulting from on-going oppression,work to create the chaotic immoral position in which we find our society.You're Black,and you have "made it" in America? Let me ask you this,who OWNS,free and clear,what YOU "own" ? Reflect on this and keep it real. The peace of Yahweh to you.

    • TOMMIS

      ALL GLORY BE TO GOD HE HAS ANSWERED OUR PRAYERS BECAUSE IT'S 2012 AND I AINT BUILDING NOTHING AND AREN'T TAKING NOTHING FROM THEM I THANK GOD FOR THE SLAVES THAT HE GAVE THE WORLD TO PAVE THE WAY OF STRENGTH FOR US!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. ybl

    tsk tsk tsk, will tweet this to POTUS!

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