“[The] assumption that the slave was a total victim is at its heart elitist and untenable. What flows from it is the view that the slave could not help himself because he had no culture, history, community, or opportunity for change and development and that, consequently, he had to be liberated by those whose history had fortunately left them intact and thus in human terms better equipped to help him.
But if the slave had a history, then his behavior changed over time as he learned from the past and met new experiences. Men, however, do not move in their own behalf or make revolutions for light and transient reasons. Only when they no longer can stand the contradictions in their own personalities do they move in a sharp and decisive fashion. The victim is always in the process of becoming the rebel, because the contradictions demand this resolution.
As the German philosopher Hegel understood in the famous passage on master and slave in The Phenomenology of Mind, the slave fights against the master by wrestling with his own internal conflicts. The will of the master and the will of teh slave both appear as a contradiction within the slave.”
~George Rawick, taken from From Sundown to Sunup: The Making of the Black Community
…Thinking about this quote in relationship to this interesting post over at Lenin’s Tomb that discusses the contemporary debate about self-liberation vs external liberation, or in other words why fighting for our damn selves is so essential rather than asking someone else to fight (or in the case of this post, not fight) for us…