For years, I have heard prominent Conservatives, whether they are Black or White, suggest that Blacks should refrain from calling themselves “African-Americans” because it implies, somehow, that Blacks are trying to separate themselves from the rest of American society. This is the biggest misconception Conservatives have about Blacks.

Marxist-Liberals exploit the word “African-American” to inflame racial division. Conversely, I refer to myself as an African-American as a matter of “inspiration” and not “separation” ─ using it to develop strong self-esteem in my children and grandchildren.

In 1 Corinthians 9:19-22 (Message Translation), the Apostle Paul said, “… I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view.” Please take a few minutes to enter my world and try to understand things from my viewpoint.

It’s commonly understood that slavery started in 1619 when the first slave ship dropped anchor in Jamestown, Virginia. Before the United States formally became a sovereign nation in 1776, Blacks were already enslaved on this soil. In essence, the United States was birthed in slavery.

Referring to myself as a Black American or American, without any appreciation of my African heritage, suggests that my “historical starting point” is slavery. It was Frederick Douglass who helped me to understand this crucial point.

As Douglass tells us in his autobiography, "The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave," as a six-year-old, he struggled with the thought that God had ordained him to be a slave for life. Then he heard the stories from his grandmother that his ancestors from Africa were free people. His grandmother’s storytelling proved to be a big eye-opener for Douglass. He finally grasped the fact that his true “historical starting point” was fixed in Liberty, not slavery in America. Douglass learned he had a heritage of free and productive people ― scholars, mathematicians, scientists, architects and innovators.

Douglass wrote, “When yet but a child about six years old, I imbibed [received into the mind] the determination to run away … I heard some ... old slaves talking of their parents having been stolen from Africa by white men, and were sold here as slaves … Very soon after this, my Aunt Jinny and Uncle Noah ran away … From that time, I resolved that I would someday run away.”

Through the power of storytelling, Douglass learned that his ancestors were stolen from their African homeland and sold into bondage. He discovered that originally his relatives were free people and not slaves. In short, these stories sparked Douglass’ inborn passion for Liberty. He began to dream of one day being a free man. 


I am convinced that Blacks who understand their true “historical starting point” become inspired to reject slave government dependency. Instead of accepting and agreeing with the left’s victim narrative ─ that Blacks need someone to rule them and feed them ─ more Blacks will rely on their God-given gifts and talents to pursue their American Dream.

The one thing Conservatives hold dear is the spirit of freedom. Yet, many of them suggest that I abandon my rich African legacy of Liberty and only embrace the “historical starting point” of slavery.

A former member of President Trump’s Coalition Advisory Board, KCarl Smith is the President and CEO of KCarl Consulting Group, empowering freedom advocates with the confidence, knowledge and skills to trump the race card. His column appears every Thursday in 1819 News. To contact KCarl or request him for a speaking engagement go to The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to