Peter Desverneys was a dedicated and loyal slave of Colonel JC Prioleau in Charleston, South Carolina in the early 1800s. Every morning, he would wake up, see the sun rising and look forward to being a dutiful slave in America. When he went to bed, his only dream is to look forward to the morning so he can once again be a good slave for his American master. But one day, another enslaved brotha approached Peter Desverneys with news that would ultimately change Mr. Desverneys life as we all know it and how many modern day educated African-Americans choose to advance themselves in American society.
One afternoon, Peter Desverneys was walking down the street minding his own business and chilling when he was approached by William Paul who told him that the brothas and sistas been working on a plan to “shave off these shackles” and stage a revolt against their oppressor. Peter Desverneys realize this plan has been in the works for years and the revolt is going to happen pretty soon. Now Peter Desverneys must decide whether he should be loyal to his enslaved brothas and sistas who are oppressed like him or be loyal to America. It was obviously a difficult decision so Peter Desverneys decided to ask his freed half-Black friend, William Pencil.
William Pencil who was obviously freed and have nothing to gain from the slave revolt told Peter Desverneys to look out for himself first. He suggested to Peter that if the Whites knew that he knew about it, then he would be killed even if he did not take part. William Pencil also told Peter that it is unlikely the revolt will be successful and the White people in Charleston, South Carolina are not all that bad. Besides, no one wants to see a lot of good people killed over nothing William Pencil iterated as Peter listened. Peter Desverneys agreed, noting he wanted nothing to do with the revolt and besides, he is comfortable being a dutiful slave in America.
On May 30, 1822 Peter Desverneys tells his slave master Col. J.C. Prioleau of the slave revolt plot he has heard. Peter Desverneys was then brought to an emergency meeting with the governor of South Carolina as well as city council members to explain what he has heard about the slave revolt. The whole revolt plot was now exposed and as a result, all of the conspirators were rounded up and executed, including the leader named Denmark Vesey who just wanted to stop Peter Desverneys from being in lifelong servitude to his slave master.
Because Peter Desverneys was a snitch and sold his own people up the river, he was rewarded by the state of South Carolina with his freedom and a monthly pension check! The first thing Peter Desverneys decided to do as a free Black man was – yeah, you guess it – he decided to buy and own some Black slaves! So Peter Desverneys lived the American dream and learned he can go far being Black in America by selling out his own people and cutting deals with the devil to keep the system of White Privilege intact.
Today in corporate America and throughout the entertainment industry, we have plenty of Peter Desverneys wannabees walking around selling out their own brothas and sistas so they can be accepted and assimilated into the system of White Privilege. And for that, we can look back and recognize Peter Desverneys as one of the first Black pioneers who decided to crap on his own people in order to live the American dream.