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Book Review: Breaking the Chains of Psychological Slavery

by Suleman

Chapter One: The Psychological Legacy of Slavery

In this first chapter of his book titled ‘Breaking the Chains of Psychological Slavery’, the author Na Terri Akbar seeks to portray in the minds of African Americans the effects of the violence and unnaturality of 300 years of slavery, which has significantly contributed to extreme psychological and social shocks. This chapter introduces a set of key points like jobs, land, leadership, clowns, personal inferiority, the division of the group, and prejudice against families and colours. Furthermore, the minds of black and white people are the same, but the disparity is due to the skewed knowledge about the white people and the lack of information about the black people who have been marginalised in every way. Accordingly, the author states that African-American attitude towards work was extremely devastating as it was totally distorted. Despite one hundred years after slavery being removed, African-Americans still hate work to a greater extent. Accordingly, work is identified as a punishment and inferiority stamp. Slaves equated work enslavement and freedom with avoidance of work. In addition, work was identified as the activity of underdog and was difficult to view from the aspect of pride. It has been admitted that African-Americans have develop numerous habits in order to avoid work. It is crucial to postulate disagreement regarding this view of the author as work in the current society is looked as a pride to express oneself. Moreover, work is a vital source to supply and meet survival needs (Akbar 1-26).

Another potential impact of slavery that has been highlighted in the book is related to leadership. Accordingly, the author reflects on the aspects of leadership viewed during slavery. In this context, the author intends to convince that during slavery, any slave who began to emerge as a natural head was either eliminated/killed or ridiculed. Instead, trained and skilled leaders were chosen to stand for the welfare of the master. Correspondingly, a long-standing view conditioned towards rejecting natural and strong leadership has been argued to stifle the development of such leaders and the author asserted that still African-Americans respond to such leadership with rejection. Concerning the leadership perspective illustrated in the first chapter of the book, it can be admitted still people are prudent in choosing their leaders. The view propagated by the author can be agreed upon that African-American population has grown out from slavery who often reveals disrespect towards leadership (Akbar 1-26).

Book Review: Breaking the Chains of Psychological Slavery

Chapter Two: Liberation from Mental Slavery

The chapter i.e. liberation from mental slavery provides a few prominent strategies for breaking the psychological chain of slavery. In this regard, it can be agreed that the mind of every individual is guided by natural programming and people only recognize themselves and what they are taught. In this chapter, the author strives to communicate that human beings are unique species and the ability of self-consciousness makes them different from other animals in the world. The author in this regard proclaims that people have no feelings of limitation and possess the aspect of self-knowledge that facilitates them to keep on progressing. The author asserts that people tend to possess one limitation that may prevent their progression which predominately lies on their ignorance (Akbar 27-48).

Furthermore, from the author’s perspective, human beings are amid the forms who can engage in self-murder with an intention which is unacceptable in society. The argument primarily reflects that people generally worked in order to create a circumstance that can help to maximize the consciousness in them. Furthermore, it can be firmly agreed that human slavery is a gradual process wherein the minds of people are usually controlled by the other. Correspondingly, other people abide by the suit as and when they lose their self-consciousness and end up being imprisoned. It has been proclaimed that liberal achievement is an underlying theme. Congruently, the strategies propagated by the author to rationalize social and political tradition in order to liberalize can be agreed upon (Akbar 27-48).

Chapter Three: Racial Religious Inquiry and Psychological Confusion

The third chapter of the book reveals the most controversial part focusing on racial religious imagery and psychological confusion. The author in this chapter continuously strives to explore the influence of Caucasian images for worship on the psychology of African-Americans. From the perspective of the author, the assignment of particular characteristics of God is the most destructive idea in the world. Correspondingly, it has been ascertained from the book that the potential of an individual is adversely influenced by the feeling of divinity acquired by the people and those people who are made to feel that their images are closer to that of God. In this regard, the author stressed upon the consideration that over the years the African-American population has the picture of God that was presented always felt inferior. The author strongly emphasizes that it is crucial to get rid of narrow-mindedness or a narrow image of God. It can be agreed that it is crucial to understand the concept of commonality among the African-American population instead of focusing on factors that differentiate people. It can be affirmed that in order to overcome such thinking, people must unify their mental state (Akbar 49-70).

Ego inflation as considered by the author is the one of the major consequences when people start to formulate idea that they are God. It has been asserted by the author that such thinking prevents people to grow and change as they believe themselves to be perfect. The author states that racism or the effect of racial images has emerged to be more powerful than faith. It has been firmly supported in the book that narrow–mindedness about the God limits the perspective of individuals and restricts the true potential. The author asserted that although education passes from generation to generation, the behaviors and attitudes will tend to persist unless narrow mindedness is demolished (Akbar 49-70). This viewpoint of author can be firmly supported and agreed upon as it is crucial for people to overcome the shadow of narrow mindedness regarding the image of creator. This can facilitate to ensure a broader outlook towards the surroundings at large.

Work Cited
  • Akbar, Naʼim. Breaking the Chains of Psychological Slavery. United States of America: Mind Productions & Associates, 1996. Print.

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