We Are All Cousins!
My message to gang bangers of African descent is that their rivals could be cousins from the not too distant past.
Young people of African descent must learn about the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade, the African Diaspora and their possible connection to countless others. Having knowledge of this history has the potential to reduce violence.
1. Africans captured for the Atlantic slave trade came from the same few dozen ethnic groups over generations and centuries. And these captives were dispersed throughout North, South, Central America and the Caribbean; making African descent people genetically related throughout the Atlantic world.
3. There was a sustained separation of enslaved families over centuries which promoted the making of new families while the previous families was most often lost to them forever.
2. The type of events that caused enslaved families to be separated such as: debts made by the slave owner, death of the slave owner, a business decision by the slave owner (s) and the westward expansion of the country are a few common and repeated reasons that moved parted family members all over the country.
What does this tell us?
It tells us the odds of African descent people in the United States encountering unknown family members with regularity are highly possible!
My objective is not for African descent youth to band together against others because of their relatedness. Science has proven all of humanity is one family; and all humans alive today are the descendents of one woman and one man: Mitochondrial Eve and Y-chromosome Adam. So, it is not if all ethnic groups are related, but how far back we share a common ancestor.
When giving author talks, someone in the audience will mention other ethnic groups have gangs and gang violence, not just blacks. My response has been, true. However, African descent people make up 15% of the population in the United States and approximately 50-60% of those incarcerated and 40% of those on death row. For the good health and stability of present and future generations of the ethnic group, violent behavior amongst the young cannot continue nor can mass incarceration which is fed in good measure by gang violence.
My gang-banging cousins, you need to stop it!