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Troy's Rants

21st Century Slavery – My Reaction

Generally when I get spam, whether it come from friends, family or a stranger, I usually just delete it. I get a lot of email. Most of it is spam.

The other day I got a piece of spam called 21st Century Slavery. I’m actually reluctant to share it here because the message is so damning. However I think my reaction, in context, will be more meaningful.

The Spam email 21st Century Slavery

BLACK PEOPLE, PLEASE, READ & HEED. The sad thing about this article is that the essence of it is true. The truth hurts. I just hope this sets more Black people in motion towards making real progress. Chris Rock, a Black comedian, even joked that Blacks don’t read. Help prove them wrong! Read and pass on. Please Note: For those of you who heard it, this is the article Dee Lee was reading this morning on a New York radio station. For those of you who didn’t hear it, this is very deep. This is a heavy piece and a Caucasian wrote it. Dee Lee, CFP Harvard Financial Educators Dee Lee : THEY ARE STILL OUR SLAVES. We can continue to reap profits from the Blacks without the effort of physical slavery. Look at the current methods of containment that they use on themselves: IGNORANCE, GREED, and SELFISHNESS. Their IGNORANCE is the primary weapon of containment. A great man once said, “The best way to hide something from Black people is to put it in a book.” We now live in the Information Age. They have gained the opportunity to read any book on any subject through the efforts of their fight for freedom, yet they refuse to read. There are numerous books readily available at Borders, Barnes & Noble, and, not to mention their own Black Bookstores that provide solid blueprints to reach economic equality (which should have been their fight all along), but few read consistently, if at all. GREED is another powerful weapon of containment. Blacks, since the abolition of slavery, have had large amounts of money at their disposal. Last year they spent 10 billion dollars during Christmas, out of their 450 billion dollars in total yearly income (2.22%).

Any of us can use them as our target market, for any business venture we care to dream up, no matter how outlandish, they will buy into it. Being primarily a consumer people, they function totally by greed. They continually want more, with little thought for saving or investing.They would rather buy some new sneaker than invest in starting a business. Some even neglect their children to have the latest Tommy or FUBU, And they still think that having a Mercedes, and a big house gives them “Status” or that they have achieved their Dream.

They are fools! The vast majority of their people are still in poverty because their greed holds them back from collectively making better communities. With the help of BET, and the rest of their black media that often broadcasts destructive images into their own homes, we will continue to see huge profits like those of Tommy and Nike. (Tommy Hilfiger has even jeered them, saying he doesn’t want their money, and look at how the fools spend more with him than ever before!). They’ll continue to show off to each other while we build solid communities with the profits from our businesses that we market to them. SELFISHNESS, ingrained in their minds through slavery, is one of the major ways we can continue to contain them. One of their own, Dubois said that there was an innate division in their culture. A “Talented Tenth” he called it. He was correct in his deduction that there are segments of their culture that has achieved some “form” of success. However, that segment missed the fullness of his work. They didn’t read that the “Talented Tenth” was then responsible to aid The Non-Talented Ninety Percent in achieving a better life. Instead, that segment has created another class, a Buppie class that looks down on their people or aids them in a condescending manner. They will never achieve what we have. Their selfishness does not allow them to be able to work together on any project or endeavor of substance. When they do get together, their selfishness lets their egos get in the way of their goal. Their so-called help organizations seem to only want to promote their name without making any real change in their community. They are content to sit in conferences and conventions in our hotels, and talk about what they will do, while they award plaques to the best speakers, not to the best doers. Is there no end to their selfishness? They steadfastly refuse to see that TOGETHER EACH ACHIEVES MORE (TEAM).

They do not understand that they are no better than each other because of what they own, as a matter of fact, most of those Buppies are but one or two pay checks away from poverty. All of which is under the control of our pens in our offices and our rooms.

Yes, we will continue to contain them as long as they refuse to read, continue to buy anything they want, and keep thinking they are “helping” their communities by paying dues to organizations which do little other than hold lavish conventions in our hotels. By the way, don’t worry about any of them reading this letter, remember, ‘THEY DON’T READ!!!!(Prove them wrong. Please pass this on! After Reading it..)


Black People,

I would encourage you to do just the opposite. Do not forward this article to other Black people – or anyone. This article is full of inaccuracies, exaggerations, and out right lies.

The statements are an amalgamation of myths and bullshit and have nothing to do with us — Black people.

This irked me simply because I run a web site, which promotes Black authors and books ( We Black people are not only reading, but also writing in tremendous numbers. In fact, we are starting publishing companies at a staggering rate.

Nonsense, like this only serves to perpetuate the lie. A lie, which many of our youth tend to internalize, view as truth, and ultimately use it as an excuse to fail.

Sure comedians like Chris Rock can repeat that old joke about hiding something from Black people by putting it in a book. The sad truth is that enough people believe the underlying premise of the joke. Instead of finding the joke absurd we find it humorous. In reality, the joke is on us. I can understand white people eating it up, but do we?

I know the motivations of my Brothers and Sisters that do forward this message are righteous, but we all know how the road to hell is paved…

My beautiful Black people please contribute to reversing these stereo types; delete these types of messages and tell the sender why they should delete them too.



The thinking seems to be so firmly entrenching in out thinking that is shows up in our music, comedy, and our willingness to forward nonesense like this. Maybe as I get older I’ve become more sensitive to stuff like this — perhaps because I’ve seen the impact of this thinking over the better part of 1/2 a century of living.


Troy D. Johnson is the President, founder and webmaster of, LLC (The African American Literature Book Club). Launched in March of 1998, has grown to become the largest and most frequently visited website dedicated to books and films by and about people of African descent.