I Can’t Hide Mine, Please Don’t Hide Yours: An Open Letter to Ben Affleck

“We need formerly slaveholding families to come to the fore, not hide.” Amen, my brother Michael.

Afroculinaria

Dear Ben,

Its unfortunate because of a massive internet hack we are in this particular place discussing your ancestral past. It’s horrible that your private matters were exposed because of something beyond your control. That’s untenable in any situation, but we need to address something right quick…this slavery thing.  You were embarassed, and that’s reasonable given the situation and the circumstances that produced it. But Ben Affleck, take it from a Black guy; with a platform like yours, don’t you dare be embarrassed to come from an ancestor who held enslaved people. Because….We need to know.

I don’t think many Black people really understand the profound guilt, shame or embarassment some white descendants of slave holding families feel. It’s not just that many assume personal responsibility for the past or that they grasp that their privilege or power is not just based on perceptions based on skin color.  Clearly these…

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I turned to biography full time in 2005, after serving as art and music critic for newspapers and magazines in the U.S. and Canada. Regardless of genre, what interests me as a writer is always character and courage, particularly in women, who have had to hang on tight to both to make their mark in what is still very much a man's world. I am drawn to the character and courage of disenfranchised populations, to those who don't or won't fit the mould, and to people marginalized because of race or creed. I am drawn to the largely unsung and too often exploited and damaged lives of our animal sisters and brothers. I want justice, and keep looking for it everywhere I go.

Posted in Racism
One comment on “I Can’t Hide Mine, Please Don’t Hide Yours: An Open Letter to Ben Affleck
  1. carolmaurer says:

    yes, Michael, I whole-heartedly agree…”if you don’t own your slaveholder ancestor and I don’t own my enslaved ancestors past and the slaveholders who are a part of my bloodline–we will never know the real America and we will never know or understand ourselves. Even the most Afrocentric among us cannot find our “Kunta Kinte” if we don’t know who enslaved them. We have to share our histories, our knowledge, our experiences if we want to understand where we come from.”
    Thanks to CTTT for providing a platform for understanding!

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