Black Pirates Hate Darwin Too

Seven year old Autum Ashante read a poem she had written to middle- and high-school students in Peekskill, NY.

“Black lands taken from your hands, by vampires with no remorse,” the aspiring actress and poet wrote. “They took the gold, the wisdom and all the storytellers. They took the black women, with the black man weak. Made to watch as they changed the paradigm of our village.

“Yeah white nationalism is what put you in bondage.”

She claims that she was trying to instill pride in black students and discourage violence. I’m no poetry expert, but I can see how she is encouraging black pride (or, at least, a search for some cultural identity). Whether or not she is encouraging blacks to steer clear of violence is up for debate. Either way, it’s pretty heavy stuff for a seven year old.

But who are those white nationalists that Autum claims put the black man in bondage? None other than “Pirates and vampires like Columbus, Morgan and Darwin.” Columbus may have initiated slavery, genocide, and other fucked up shit in the new world, but he perpretrated it against indiginous tribes, not people of recent African descent. The Darwin-racism connection is pure fallacy. And is this girl really ragging on Thomas Hunt Morgan? Who knew the black power movement had an anti-science agenda? It probably wouldn’t surprise many of you to learn that Autum has been home schooled. Maybe that’s where she picked up the anti-science jive talk. And can we please leave the pirates out of this?

(Via Can’t Stop The Bleeding.)


  1. #1 Anonymous
    March 16, 2006

    The poem might be refering to Lewis Henry Morgan, American anthropologist (1818-1881). Lewis Morgan is noted for classifying human societies into the very objective, scientific catagories of savage, barbaric, and civilized. Guess where African societies fell?
    On another note, a seven year old smart enough to know what a “paradigm” is should also know when to leave it in the “vocabulary builders” workbook.
    Finally, as a Pastafarian, I am offended by the use of pirates to make the poet’s case.

  2. #2 mgr
    March 16, 2006

    I don’t know if this is an attempt at dry humor, but I will bite.

    Poetry is often short hand, and it is often dangerous to infer direct causation, rather than indirect.

    For Morgan, try Henry Morgan, the pirate. http://www.data-wales.co.uk/morgan.htm

    And, as for pirates selling africans into slavery, try Zanzibar, and the arabs (and possibly africans being involved).

    Although I agree that Darwin’s ideas are not racist, there is some evidence that Darwin the man, shared some of the racist thinking of his day regarding ethnic inferiority based on pigment.

    It is Columbus’ enslavement of the peoples of the West Indies, and their subsequent demise that led to the slave trade.

    It would be an interesting teaching/learning experience to find why Darwin is in that list. I don’t think one needs to write off a seven year old, even if they are home schooled. I rather mourn the loss of discussion and debate that ensued.

  3. #3 dogscratcher
    March 16, 2006

    Personally, I think she was referring to Captain Morgan (garrr):


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