"The slaves". "Slaves" or "people"? "The slaves" or "our people"/"our ancestors"?
Have we ever thought about our use of this terminology when referring to our people who were enslaved?
The term "slave" turns a human being into an object, so even inadvertently, we play into our own dehumanization by playing into the dehumanization of our people. Furthermore, using "the slaves" in thought and in speech serves to disconnect us from our people.
It seems little, but when we think about it, it is no way some little thing. Let us stop referring to our ancestors who were abducted, enslaved, raped, bred like cattle, beaten, lynched, maimed, etc. (as if that were not dehumanizing enough, imagine your own descendants playing into your dehumanization) as "the slaves". Let us teach the children from early on to never refer to those ancestors who were enslaved as "slaves".
"Even the most enlightened history books about our people refer to us as "slaves". We weren't slaves; we were enslaved. We were captive."- Mumia Abu-Jamal
"Words like 'slave' allow our humanity to be stripped away. Slaves weren't brought to America. 'People' were. "- Marc Lamont Hill (Note: That goes for North America and for anywhere that our people were taken.)