Don’t Call Slaves “Immigrants”

Powerful piece by Dionne Ford in LitHub on equating slavery and immigration.

My parents grew up in Oklahoma and Louisiana. Their parents were from Arkansas and Mississippi. I’d been to the farm where my maternal grandpa used to grow soy and cotton and to the immaculate little house surrounded by red clay dirt where my maternal great-grandmother made fresh buttermilk biscuits in a kitchen so clean you could eat off the floor. (Cozied up under her square Formica table, I sometimes did). But I was no Alex Haley. How was I supposed to figure out how my grandparents got to these far-flung parts of the USA? When I asked my dad later that night what country in Africa he thought we came from or if there was some representative flag for the entire continent, he breathed a heavy, frustrated sigh.

“Between the Indian blood and the slave blood, we’ve been here longer than anybody. Who’s more American than us?” 

Ford, Dionne. (2017, March 31). Don’t Call Slaves “Immigrants”. Literary Hub.

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