I got the idea for this week’s term while watching “CSA” (Confederate States of America). CSA is a mockumentary that examines American history post Emancipation Proclamation if the confederate army won.
If you have not seen or heard about it, I suggest you check it out. It’s pretty funny & actually makes you think about some things. I hate to spoil but one of my favorite parts in the movie is when the historian tells the story of Harriet Tubman rescuing Abraham Lincoln & puts him in Black Face. He then questions her about it & she, look we both Niggas now, so come on and let’s roll!
Drapetomania – A Mental Disease, which gives slaves the urge to want to run away from their sweet & loving slave master.
Etymology – (drapetes – a runaway (in this case a negro slave)) (mania – madness or frenzy)
Drapetomania was manufactured by Samuel A. Cartwright, a Louisiana physician. The diagnosis appeared in a paper published in the New Orleans Medical and Surgical Journal, where Dr. Cartwright argued that the tendency of slaves to run away from their captors was in fact a treatable medical disorder. His feeling was that with “proper medical advice, strictly followed, this troublesome practice that many Negroes have of running away can be almost entirely prevented. “Cartwright suggested that the only way to cure a slave from this infliction was to beat the shit out of him.
Cartwright also said that if treated kindly, well fed and clothed, with fuel enough to keep a small fire burning all night – separated into families, each family having its own house – not permitted to run about at night to visit their neighbors, to receive visits or use intoxicating liquors, and not overworked or exposed too much to the weather, they are very easily governed – more so than any other people in the world.
Drapetomania Today: My POV:
Sometimes I apply this term to our Black men, who seem to be affected by this disease. Why do I say this? Well, I think about all of those babies with no daddies. I think about all of the Black women out they with a man who will not marry them because “they are not ready”. Bottom line is I see a lot of Black men running away from responsibility & this eats me up as a Black man holding it down in my home & community.
I will end here because I am on the verge of a rant.
Related Post ~Slave Economics (SECO 101)