There’s this practice developed during the Maafa called “Dancing the Slaves.”
The European Invaders, Colonizers, Enslaver, and Slave Ship Captains found that you needed to allow your captives “stimulation” and “emotional” outlets in order for them to be both productive and more docile.
Africans were marched long distances to the coast, forced to wait in dungeons or in the hulls of Slave ships, then forced into a life of toil devoid of intellectual outlets, cultural enrichment, or any type of agency.
This this would lead to various unprofitable behaviors on the part of the enslaved Africans, some would rebel, some would go insane, others would simply shut down. The Slaves that shut down would not respond to orders, they didn’t respond to threats or rewards, they would become almost catatonic.
So, the Enslavers figured out that you needed to give the enslaved outlets, but they didn’t want to allow our ancestors the ability to read, to creative, or have any agency, so they developed the practice of “Dancing the Slaves,” allowing them to engage in empty “celebrations” and pointless “rituals” that looked like they were cultural, or even African but they were nothing more than letting off steam.
They would bring Africans out of the coastal dungeons, or out of the hulls of the Slave ships and tell them to dance and chant.
On the plantation the Enslavers would allow our ancestors Sunday morning service (not the whole day) where they would listen to a passage from the Bible telling them to obey their Masters, then they would be given time to dance, holler, and kick up a fuss.
Enslavers would encourage Enslaved Africans to dance, yell, chant, jump around, talk gibberish (aka: in tongues), and emote until they were exhausted; especially when tensions were high among the Enslaved populace.
This behavior allowed them to burn off energy that would otherwise be spent opposing their oppressors.
The Enslavers set up a system where all of our productive and intellectual energy was spent building up the Plantation and other Systems of the Oppressor and our emotional and social energy was spend entertaining and stimulation ourselves without any real purpose or substantive outcome. This was as brilliant as it was insidious.
Today we still have Wage Slaves who only think, organize, and build when they “on the clock,” and spend all of their free time and resources doing bullshit! Partying and Bullshit on their own time, burning off all the resentment, pain, and suffering through senseless convulsions.
Every time I see our people hucking and bucking in the Tabernacle I think about the “Dancing the Slaves” practices, cuz that’s all it is. But now Wage Slaves have more options to huck and buck than Chattel Slaves, we can do it in dah Club, or at de BBQ, etc. But it’s the same shit.
Note: I’m not anti-dancing, singing, and celebrating; but there’s a difference between “Dancing a Slave,” and celebrating something. The main difference is a celebration is about recognizing an accomplishment and forging bonds with those you build with. Also, true rituals can only be born out of your own culture and ancestry. and The club scene and the tabernacle are both devoid of real culture and communal connections; so that are just empty outlets for pent up emotions and energy, and the rituals our oppressors imposed on us only keep us enslaved.