Back then, when I was growing up, boys gang-banging or gang-raping a girl was a pretty common thing. They called it pulling a train. IT didn’t happen to any particular kind of girl. It happened to girls who were at the wrong place at the wrong time. The boys talked about it like it was a joke or a game, like they were “only” out to have some “fun.” If a girl was caught on the wrong side of a park or in the wrong territory or on the wrong street, she was a target. It was a common thing back then for boys to downgrade girls and cuss at them in the street. It was common for them to go to bed with girls and talk about them like dogs the next day. It was common for boys to deny they were the fathers of their babies. And it was common for boys to beat girls up and knock them around. And then the girls would get hard too.
“If the nigga ain’t got no money, I don’t want to be bothered.”
“If the nigga ain’t got no car, then later for him.”
The more I watched how boys and girls behaved, the more I read and the more I thought about it, the more convinced I became that this behavior could be traced directly back to the plantation when slaves were encouraged to take the misery of their lives out on each other instead of on the master. The slavemasters taught us we were ugly, less than human, unintelligent, and many of us believed it. Black people became breeding animals: studs and mares. A Black woman was fair game for anyone at any time: the master or a visiting guest or any redneck who desired her. The slavemaster would order her to have six with this stud, seven with that stud, for the purpose of increasing his stock. She was considered less than a woman. She was a cross between a whore and a workhorse. Black men internalized the white man’s opinion of black women. And, if you ask me, a lot of us still act like we’re back on the plantation with massa pulling the strings.
— Assata Shakur, 116