Modern Attitudes and “Back Then”

Woman in Saxon garb near ruins of Romanesque abbey

Woman in Saxon garb near ruins of Romanesque abbey


Ever since the advent of farming and urban civilisation around 10,000 years ago, some people have tried to make themselves the master of others.

The list of reasons these people invent to justify their dominance over others could fill a library.

Eventually the people who use others for self-enrichment may even come to believe the nonsense they’ve concocted.

“They deserve it.”

“God decreed it should be so.”

“They aren’t actually humans.”

“They aren’t educated enough to rule themselves.”

“The world needs order, and only my people are clever enough for such a monumentally complex task.”

“They would not be poor if they weren’t lazy.”

“They wouldn’t be slaves if they weren’t stupid.”




Æthelflæd of Damerham was the eldest daughter of Ælfgar the Ealdorman, and should not be confused with Æthelflæd of the Mercians (daughter of Alfred the Great).

Æthelflæd was the second wife of Eadmund I, King of the English, whose short reign ended in 946 after only six and a half years.

Æthelflæd herself was Queen Consort for just two years (944-946) until Eadmund was stabbed to death in a brawl while trying to protect one of his stewards.

Æthelflæd was outlived by her brother-in-law Byrhtnoth “of the swan-white hair”, who died in combat with Viking raiders at the Battle of Maldon in 991.

Approaching her death, Æthelflæd wrote a will.

In this will, she was adamant in stipulating that all slaves held by her house should be freed upon her demise.

A reminder from the Middle Ages that people have ALWAYS known that slavery is wrong, no matter what some latter-day apologists for the southern Confederacy might say.




Just because servitude and slavery were once widespread does not mean they were ever “normal for the time”, morally acceptable, or correct…

Deference to authority, servitude, patriarchy, child labor, and slavery were only “normal” because ruthlessly greedy people used violence to make those things “seem” normal.

This is why the world has given us the memory of John Brown and Nat Turner, the Sandinistas, Emmeline Pankhurst, Spartacus, Nelson Mandela, striking coal miners, and a million others like them.


#BeforeWeWereWhite #HistoryOfSlavery #Æthelflæd

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