In 1864, Cuban planter Cristóbal Madan rails against the free colored population – the emerging Black Undertow of Cuba – which at that time numbered around 226,000 or 16 percent of the population:
“The colored people scarcely contribute to the effective working class on the island, in proportion to their numbers. They do not dwell on their plots of land, but congregate in the towns and villages, where they degenerate more each day into a lazy and vicious bunch. Their women possess the most depraved habits, and it can be said that the race is almost of no use, either to itself or to the country in which it lives; a significant proportion is mulatto.”
In the United States, the Black Undertow emerged as problem during the Early Republic and Antebellum era, particularly in Northern cities like Boston, New York City, and Philadelphia.
Most of the Southern states passed laws during this period which required free negroes to emigrate out of state. Several Midwestern states also banned free negroes for the same reasons given by Madan.
As in Cuba, the ex-slaves descended on the Southern cities during Reconstruction. There is a scene in Gone With The Wind where Scarlett is assaulted by the Black Undertow in the shantytowns outside postwar Atlanta.
Note: Here’s an interesting except about the Catholic Church in Cuba during slavery:
“The Church was part of the system of slavery. It supported, reinforced, and reflected the status quo. It preached obedience to the white master among the slaves, and propagandized the then present inequality and suffering as preparation for an equitable afterlife.”
This is significant.
We often hear on the internet that Christianity is the cause of our racial decline – in the South and Cuba, the planters controlled the churches, whether Southern Baptist or the Catholic Church, and the real threat to plantation system came from external anti-slavery agitation, not from organized religion within slave societies.
Jesus is always on the side of whatever social group has the money in society – in the nineteenth century, Jesus was for slavery and obedience to masters, now Jesus is against “racism” and “anti-Semitism” and stands for “human rights.”