The wounds of slaves in cotton fields that never heal,

from Black Star – Thieves in the Night Lyrics on Rap Genius

Meaning

Legitimate explanation for why the African American community is (generally speaking) poorer and exhibits higher crimes rates. The wounds of slavery (and racism) have not healed.

In Morrison’s The Bluest Eye it is evident that blacks are still at the bottom of the social hierarchy and suppressed by whites, even though slavery was abolished many years ago. Years of abuse and racism have cultivated into negative behaviors that the characters use to cope. Cholly, for example, is forced to continue having sex in front of two white men and transfers this embarrassment and trauma into hatred for all women. He later rapes his daughter, Pecola, because this event in his life has skewed the way he deals with love and hate. The rape of Pecola isn’t an isolated act of violence for Cholly but evidence of a cycle of violence. Cholly grew up with a lack of maternal and paternal connections and doesn’t know an appropriate way to care for and raise his daughter. A freed slave is still adjusting to the world and is more likely to engage in crime and live in poverty because they do not have the knowledge or resources for anything outside of slave life. Cholly is a similar example of this type of behavior because the neglect and abuse in his life has left him with painful psychology and emotional damage

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