Who is Willie Lynch?

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I have given my students an assignment about who Willie Lynch is and what he had done to the society to gain popularity. And I thought to make a research myself.

William (Willie) Lynch, a British slave owner in the West Indies, and came to United States to advise American slave owners how to keep their slaves restrained, according to the essay in Brother Man: The Odyssey of Black Men in America- an Anthology. Lynching or Lynch Law is actually attributed to him. Lynching initially referred to the hanging of the black man. The William Lynch Speech or letter is from an unknown origin which attracted widespread attention when it was scattered on the internet by 1990s. It was said to be addressed to an audience on the bank of the James River in Virginia in 1712 regarding the control of slaves in the colony. William Lynch was the speaker was summoned to Virginia in 1712, due to a few slave revolts in the area prior to his visit, and his dubious reputation of being an authoritative and strict slave owner. Believers in the substantiality of the William Lynch Speech called it mental slavery.

Hatred among the slaves was a deep division in cognizance to skin color of the slaves; this was the cause of the Lynch’s alleged method. Light-skinned blacks were priced better according to the conditions of slavery given to this doctrine. They were being allowed to do jobs that need power over the other slaves, and were usually assigned in the home of the slave master. While the dark-skinned slaves are bounded to the fields, performing back-breaking labors, and unlike the light-skinned, they cannot enjoy the luxury that the lighter-skinned slaves get. The executions of Lynch’s divide and conquer method of control caused discontent among the slaves. The division between the house and the field slaves is historically erroneous, since slaves that are employed in plantation households were a subset of non-predial slaves, including craftsman such as the carpenters and masons, and were they are under a white supervision than those in the field.

Haitian Revolution led by a non-predial slave, Toussaint L’Ouverture, was on of the most successful slave revolts in history. Louis Farrakhan quotes Willie Lynch’s alleged scheme posed as an impediment to the unity among the African Americans. The Willie Lynch Doctrine, a document that was distributed to the plantations owners and Politicians in the United States advocates them how to convert a man into a slave. This served as a foundation for the current self-destructive life lived by young men today. Causing your own fate and showing your children to do the same. False realities that you grab hold to and base your whole life is a never ending cycle. The doctrine used principles like brainwashing and mind control. The slave owners were actually instructed to use public persecution and indignity to create fear in the black society and demolish the male image in the mind of the black woman.

They were subjected to such persecution like being dragged by the horse with their legs tied, and then light him on fire, and being pulled into parts by a horse in front of his woman. Like today, the black community is still dragged in the same way that the Lynch’s doctrine used to be, it shows how racism still exists. That’s why black woman raises her sons to be physically strong and their daughters’ mentally prepared. So as the time come they could defend themselves as the revolts had shown. For example, there are tendencies of authorities to treat minority suspects’ summarily, bias in both conviction and sentencing. This also shows in the media’s demonization of young black men and the conception of black criminality as it is discernable in cases of racial profiling are all faint messages that is very hard to see today. Like the African-American history, this will have not only an unjust but an everlasting detrimental consequence to the society.

A truly difficult time for everyone and it saddens me to think of what happened during their time.



Suzanne Harvey

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