Washington Post

'Barbaric': America's cruel history of separating children from their parents

A sketch of a slave auction. Foto: Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture.

A mother unleashed a piercing scream as her baby was ripped from her arms during a slave auction. Even as a lash cut her back, she refused to put her baby down and climb atop an auction block.

The woman pleaded for God's mercy, Henry Bibb, a formerly enslaved man recalled in an 1849 narrative that is part of "The Weeping Time" exhibit at the Smithsonian's Museum of African American History and Culture, which documents the tragic history of children being separated from their parents during slavery. "But the child was torn from the arms of its mother amid the most heart-rending shrieks from the mother and child on the one hand, and the bitter oaths and cruel lashes from the tyrants on the other."..

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