"Coincidences" and Slaves

February 26, 2009

So, as I started my week with a smile, morning quickly went to afternoon as the work day flew by. The delivery guy came by with a small box for me and I realized I hadn't opened a package I had gotten earlier in the day. For someone who loves getting mail, I was surprised I hadn't rushed right in:) I opened the box, dvd for "Role Models." Ehh.

Opened the small package, out comes a biography on First Lady Michelle Obama. I look up and look around like I am being punked and expecting someone to pop out. I am a big fan of the First Lady and it's kinda not a secret (and if the screening committee for the government is reading, I am no fanatic and could totally handle working around her, really:). So as I wonder who sent the book, a note slides out. A publicist at the Publisher wrote me a note, sharing thanks to my online page she knew I was a fellow fan like the author. I was intrigued. Happy to have the book. Scratching my head how a stranger could so easily find out my deep appreciation for the First Family (probably was my Essence.com Community page - Friend me;)

So today on the train I was able to crack open the book (I had been reading "The Shack" with my church, but left it at work so Michelle time it is). The biography, written for tweens, quickly points out the important achievment that First Lady Michelle is the first descendent of slaves to live in the White House. That hit my heart, and just a part of the perfect combo that the President transcends so many levels and has such an inclusive background, and Michelle's is complimentary and opposite of two hard-working Black people settled in Chicago with southern roots, like most Blacks post the Great Migration.

I continue to read. The author details the rice fields her enslaved great-great-grandfather worked in the same town she and her family spent their summers south - Georgetown, SC.

My jaw drops. My heart slows.I had just been calculating a day earlier if a trip to Georgetown would be possible in my weekend to Atlanta tomorrow.

And for completely different reasons. It's where my cousins Linda and James have just buried their second son, and where the two are spending a few weeks to come to grips with the devastating lost. The funeral was Sunday, after he was killed by a man they had welcomed into the family and tried to help. Linda is my father's cousin and our family lives about an hour and a half from the town where James's family is mostly based.

Reading the fascinating history of Georgetown, which had the highest slave concentration in the nation where the average slave owner had 300 slaves and the national average was 15, and the enlslaved Blacks had the ability to hold onto so much of the culture, which we now call Gullah, all gave me some personal pride, as the physical shell of my cousin Enrique settles into that rich land and his spirit lives on.

I had been wanting to get to see Linda and give her some love, so now Im more determined than ever to enter Georgetown, SC a place of personal and national treasure. There really is no such thing as coincidence . . .


  1. BigCNYC said...:

    I have a week off soon and I think I should treat myself to a trip to the gullahs, someplace I've always wanted to go because of the history there. God bless your beloved cousin.

  1. Arlice Nichole said...:

    We were there a few years ago. I plan to take a trip back some time in the near future. I am sorry to hear about your cousin.

  1. shara said...:

    So, I finally set up the RSS feed on Google Reader, and now I'm able to see all your blogs I missed during the semester. This one really moved me. All things eventually come full circle.