It's easy to let an event slide when it does not effect you. It's another thing entirely when said event alters, permanently, life's course. The middle passage slavery trade forever changed the lives of hundreds of millions of people. African men, women and children were uprooted, caged, fed slop, shackled on boats bound east to a new, unforgiving world.

Human beings were stripped of their identity, cultural, religion, ideology and way of existence.  In the American colonies and United States, legal human trafficking took place with black families split apart and cast into an unknown future. If you resisted or tried to escape, your very life was on the line. Kunta Kente, of "Roots" fame, had one of his feet cut off, by his master, for refusing to answer to the name Toby.

The Black Community Information Center estimates that 40 million black lives were lost during 400 years of the African slave trade. We wouldn't expect the Jewish cultural to forget the six million lives lost in the holocaust. Don't ask blacks to let go of the wounds from the murderous slave trade.

Editor’s Note:   Brian Thomas is the host of Brian’s Beat on 1420 WBSM New Bedford.  He can be heard weekdays from 10am-Noon and Saturdays from 6am-9am.  The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.