Go back and look at that picture of those women and children in the cotton field.

My mother’s (b. 1922) grandmother, “Mama Perlina” (b. approximately 1861) was a slave for at least the first four years of her life in Missouri. Growing up, I was told that Mama Perlina “thought” she knew who her mother was but wasn’t really sure. She had never known anything about her father. She died in 1928. Just 31 years later (1949), I was born. Yeah, that’s right, I just made 70 in April.

The point is that any one of those women or girls could be my direct forebearer. Their free and forced labor enriched whatever “white” person — and all his or her descendants — right down to this very day; while the vast, vast majority of black people still suffer as a direct result of their exploitation and the ensuing centuries of Jim and Jane Crow racial discrimination, constant impoverishment, lynching, exclusion, etc., etc., ad infinitum.

Freelancer since the earth first began cooling. My beat, justice: racial, social, political, economic and cultural. I’m on FB, Twitter, Link, hdyerjr@gmail.com.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store