CAPTIVITY Narratives

"Captivity narratives are usually stories of people captured by enemies whom they consider uncivilized, or whose beliefs and customs they oppose."  MORE 

Another mind blower brought to you by the GoogleVortex: the Captivity Narrative. 

Of course, slave narratives are a black history month favorite, a right of passage for AP students, Olaudah Equiano and all the rest. But to read captivity as a transgression, rather than a normalized version of human interaction is...beyond.  Or maybe that's not exactly what I want to say.  Perhaps I more impressed by the presence of distain.  That the 'captive' is not the one so fully besmirched as the warden, a kind of traction against total despair.  Blackness continues to be marketed as a service to the United States, a cultural export that pays dividends based on a fundamental experience of terrorism, but we've all been conditioned not to imagine the perpetrators as 'infidels', seemingly protected by a vocabulary that we all participate in.  "White" - "Privileged" - "Oblivious" - "The 1%" - "The 9.9%" - "Fragile" - "Out of touch" - "American" - and the rest.  "Criminal" - "Lazy" - "Uneducated" - "Loud" -  "Oppressed" -"Other" - "Poor" - "Violent" - these terms we reserve for the individuals mined of their humanity for profit.  It's an incantation, a spell for the status quo.  And although the results are similar in affect/effect, there is something intriguing about this hierarchy, this marked difference in the way indigenous and black and white identities are constructed.  Perhaps there's a key hidden in there -- DEVELOPING.