It shocks our senses to encounter a former slave praising slavery, but it's not that hard to understand, if you think about it. Why do some people in, say, the former East Germany pine for life under communist dictatorship, which was a kind of slavery? Because they miss the sense of security it provided. Yes, you were miserable, but so was everybody else you knew, so in that sense, you knew your place. You knew what was expected of you, and what you could -- and could not -- expect of yourself. Go to Coates' link and read the ex-slave's words: she's remembering (and no doubt romanticizing) her slave past from the point of view of the Great Depression, and all its stress and storm, as well as having been abandoned by her children, and having been geographically displaced. "Now I just live from hand to mouth," she said. "Here one day, somewhere else the next."
Compared to the stress of that kind of life -- elderly, lost, forgotten by one's family, and not knowing what tomorrow will bring -- is it really that far-fetched to imagine longing for the security of involuntary servitude? In the same vein, is it really so hard to imagine why some women remain with the men who beat them? I'm not justifying it, obviously; I'm just trying to understand why people do the things that they do and say the things that they say.
TNC follows up and tries to steer the conversation in another direction.