~ ‘Slaughtering Injustice,’ A Commemoration In Unity ~
Gregory V. Boulware
Removal of a banner…
~May It Never Again Wave The Insignia of Evil, Hatred, and Terror~
IT was no surprise to find folks like ‘The Frasier’s’ being among people who attended local and international events commemorating what many would call a terroristic act against nine congregants at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina. They were among those who came from around the region for a candlelight vigil outside the St. Raymond of Penafort Church. More than two hundred and fifty gathered at Vernon Road and Williams Avenue in the Cedarbrook section of Mount Airy in Philadelphia. Many local motorists stopped by while honking their horns in total support of the outside gathering.
Louise Frasier stated that she has three sisters and a host of nieces and nephews currently living in South Carolina. She verbally espouses a great concern for their safety and the well-being of the younger relatives as well.
“My wife and I still have family in South Carolina,” adds Eugene Frasier. “I not only have ties with the AME Church in South Carolina, but I also graduated from Allen University where the pastor and the youngest church member who was killed graduated from there too. I lived through the bigotry and hatred, so I have righteous anger. I am here to get some solace because of the evil of racism.”
Reverend Christopher M. Walsh, Pastor of St. Raymond, listed the natural reactions that he noticed of most people. He said it was “normal to feel sad for the victims and their families and appropriate to celebrate them as Christian Heroes.”
He secondly acknowledged anger as a natural response after any traumatic experience.
The reverend thirdly pointed out the re-opening of old wounds, caused by the massacre, was especially traumatic for those who lived through the more overt southern segregation. Walsh also noted, according to a report by Arlene Edmunds of 21st Century Media News Service that many are particularly angry because they thought this type of racial animosity was behind them.
Rev. Walsh paused to remember each of the nine victims of the June 17, 2015 Charleston, S.C. Massacre.
Rev. and State Senator Clementa Pinckney
Rev. Daniel Simmons
Rev. DePayne Middleton Doctor
Cynthia Marie Graham Hurd
It was June 19, 1865, when the news reached enslaved Africans in Galveston, Texas, that they were freed during the Civil War by The Emancipation Proclamation that was issued in January 1863.
Thousands from Mount Airy, West Oak Lane, and Germantown converged on Germantown (The Great Road) Avenue for the festivities of the ‘Juneteenth Festival’ outside of local historic sites and landmarks such as the ‘Johnson House,’ a part of the ‘Underground Railroad.’
“Paying close attention to the ‘scuttle-butt,’ gossip, and rumors about, I remember hearing something about an occultist and his group back in history class. It was something about George Washington and a mystic back in the 16th or 17th century. It was during, I think, the French-American and British war of the colonies. The old mansions in Germantown reflect upon the general’s visit along with the French leader, Lafayette.
The mansions along ‘The Great Road’ held a complete and authenticated history of events from back then.
What I do know up to this point is what has been said, stored, and recorded:
~ “The Battle of Germantown” occurred at the Cliveden Manor. “It was also the country home of Pa. Chief Justice Benjamin Chew. On October 4, 1777, a British regiment occupied Cliveden and defended it from full assaults by the Colonials. Over 70 soldiers died on these grounds. Although it was an American defeat, Washington’s bold strategy helped to win French aid for the cause of independence.” – “The First Protest Against Slavery was here in 1688, at the home of Tunes Kunders, an eloquent protest was written by a group of German Quakers. Signed by Pastorius and three others, it preceded by 92 years Pennsylvania’s passage of the nation’s first state abolition law.” ~
What began as a summer retreat, to a colonial landmark, became the site of a viciously nasty war, “The Battle of Germantown.’ Many have wondered if this was an accident in history.
Cliveden Manor is a story of a colonial family, the servants, and its slaves.
Before William Penn and the Mayflower, the Native Americans lived on the land now known as the United States of America. Here in the northwest, the Philadelphia-Germantown area is where the Quakers settled to farm and establish businesses. They were mostly of German descent, hence the name Germantown.
This area was also a haven for runaway slaves. “The Underground Railroad” ran through this region of the country as well. There existed a number of “Safe-Houses” for escaped African-American Slaves (not known then as African Americans) such as, The Mennonite Meeting House and the Johnson House. The route to freedom for Black people often led to Canada, although a number of African descendants decided to settle in Germantown where they felt safe from persecution.”
“When There’s No More Room In Hell”
The Cheltenham NAACP held its ‘Annual Scholarship Banquet’ with a full house at the Flourtown Country Club on June 28th, 2015.
“Young People Are Truly The Instruments For Justice”
~Pastor Elijah Morris~
Brendan Boyle said that he was pleased to be among those from the Cheltenham area communities that he once considered affluent while growing up in Olney.
“I am honored the NAACP has invited me to speak,” said the D-13 U.S. Representative.
~ The Highlight of the Event was the Awarding of Scholarships~
“Instruments For Justice,” was most appropriate as the organization once again honored local students with Educational Achievement Awards and the NAACP Scholarship Awards as well as the Community Service Award.
The Educational Achievement Award is given to those who supervise the NAACP Essay Contest.
“The Cheltenham area branch of the NAACP believes that Black lives matter and all lives matter. We sincerely hope and believe that the foundation for better police-community relations has established and will continue to grow,” as recorded of Harvey Crudup in a booklet. He was unable to attend the event in person as scheduled.
The mission of the Cheltenham area branch of the NAACP is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economical equality of rights to all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial, ethnic, religious, and sexual orientation discrimination in Cheltenham, Jenkintown, Springfield, Plymouth Meeting, and Whitemarsh Townships.
The group’s objectives include ensuring equal rights, eliminating racial prejudice, removing barriers of racial discrimination from the democratic process and enacting as well as enforcing federal, state, and local civil rights laws. It seeks to inform the public of racial discrimination’s adverse as it seeks to eliminate it. It also has an educational arm helping those in the community be more aware of their constitutional rights and how to take lawful action to secure those, reports Edmunds.
~“The Dylan Roofs, The Ku Klux Klan, and racist rants on ’Facebook’ will not have the last word!”~
“How did you feel when you noticed someone of so-called celebrity status and disallowed contact for fear of ridicule or misplaced low self-esteem? “I know that person…he/she is the representative that I’ve seen on TV, Who Spoke at My Childs Graduation Ceremony, The Church, The Community Meeting, and the News Media!” You make the attempt to press the palm of the individual only to be dismissed as something just above an annoyance… insignificant. But the person in question is held to a higher standard…a hero, a role model, to be admired, respected someone that was supported at the poles and/or in the surroundings of ones’ home, among family and friends!
You got the opportunity to meet and greet this icon only to be waved off and or set aside. This individual will be courting your vote and/or your support the very next week as prerequisite to an upcoming campaign! He or She will want your undivided attention, your unyielding support, your utter and complete belief and allegiance to and for the cause…yes?
This situation was shared with a couple of friends and it was suggested not to take it personal. I take it personal when someone who sets him/her-self above the folks they profess to represent and then portray themselves as such while believing they can get away with being rude! Also, thinking the person of said contact is such that you are privileged to dismiss when it is such a person who is depended upon for belief and support of the movement and/or the betterment of all.”
“Are People of Color Subject To The NAACP?”
“Because white shipyard workmen would not allow him to work alongside them, the man who defeated Garnet’s ‘Call To Revolt’ by a resolution calling for “Moral Suasion” was an escaped slave who taught himself to read and write. He went to work for the Anti-Slavery Society and became a famous speaker and writer. Though he opposed ‘The Call To Revolt’ in 1843 – By 1849 he was writing: “If there is no struggle, there is no progress. …this struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical’ but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did, and it never will.”
~’Black American Freedom Fighters’~
“Nine African-American worshippers slaughtered June 17 by a stone-cold racist that they tried to inoculate with the “Almighty’s Healing Love,” said Obama. “They were having a bible-study session in the basement of the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Charleston, S.C.,” reported Don Scott of A Place In History, The Mt. Airy Times Express, July 10, 2015.
“I couldn’t help thinking of my Mom and Late Dad’s South Carolina ancestors,” said Scott. “I also thought of the nearby enslaved predecessors of the president’s wife, First Lady Michelle Obama.”
As the president continued speaking, he reiterated the strength of the AME Church and its legacy via such brave leaders as ‘Denmark Vesey’ who organized the ill-fated 1821-1822 slave rebellion with fellow Emanuel Congregants.
Bishop Richard Allen founded AME’s word-wide denominations. He was a visionary and exceptionally courageous African-American youngster. Chief Jurist Benjamin Chew owned Brother Richard Allen during the 1760s. Judge Chew operated huge estates in the mid-Atlantic region and nearby Germantown, where he lived in the ‘Cliveden Mansion.’ Chew was also the principle advisor to friend and fellow Quaker, William Penn. He was the state’s founder and a slave owner as well. They and their group(s) hypocritically sought religious and political freedom and independence from England for themselves.
Richard Allen not only experienced the inhumanity of bondage, he was very familiar with the ingrained institution of slavery in the Unites States of America’s South Carolina.
It was there where the confederacy and the movement to preserve slavery would be eventually ill-fated just about a century later by white supremacists caressing their traitorous rebel flag fluttering tragically and defiantly well after the civil war defeat in the 1860s.
In that environment, Blacks fought in every conceivable way against the institution of slavery. Barack Obama succinctly pointed out during the eulogy that eventually became so effectively adopted by the likes of Dr. Martin Luther King as well as others who spoke from the pulpit of the historic Emanuel AME; in their approach of utilizing God’s good and blessed grace.
Many along the way have been brutally murdered, not unlike the recent slaughter and destruction at Emanuel AME – albeit, their shear and utter bravery carved a path for the nation’s salvation that continues into and beyond today.
It is appalling how evil-hearted people can have the audacity to defend the so-called yet wretched and dishonored blood-soaked cloth of the infamous confederate flag.
Mr. Scott says ‘William of Willie Middleton (a.k.a. Bill Mitchell), who was undoubtedly quite familiar with that divisive rebel symbol. He first departed the “blistering boiler of South Carolina’s post-civil war hatred.
Willie Middleton briefly settled in Philadelphia’s suburban Roslyn in the Abington area in or about 1920.
Beaufort County, S.C. is where his family was owned by the Edwards family. This info is reported according to genealogy research that is likely tied to slave-holding dynasties run by the Middleton’s, ’Halls,’ and Calhoun’s,’ a family that more than likely exploited Willie’s father’s ancestors from upstate in Abbeville County.
Willie is Mr. Scott’s Grandfather; his mother’s father.
“Amazingly,” Scott writes, “a few members of those families actually signed the ‘Declaration of Independence, especially noteworthy to me as many Americans celebrate the Country’s Birthday, July 4, 1776. Indeed, those Africans – including the ancestors of the slain State Senator and Reverend Clementa Pinckney, of Emanuel AME were forced to work on the sprawling plantations of the white power brokers. They were not far from the First Lady Michelle Obama’s paternal ‘Gullah-Geechee’ ancestors, the Robinsons, who were enslaved in Georgetown, S.C.
In fact, Grandpa moved northward during one of the “Great Migration” of Blacks from the South (as did the Great-Grandparents of this reporting author – Winnsboro, S.C.) after working as a longshoreman on the docks of ‘Savannah, Ga.’ and ‘Charleston, S.C. before finding similar work on Philadelphia’s water-front, one of the few places where Black Men arriving from the so-called ‘Dixie’ could find work.
‘SHAMAN’ an excerpt from ‘FAIRMOUNT’:
The medicine men and priests among the Indians were usually merely those men who thought more deeply and strenuously than the average men in the tribe. These thinkers tended to live among the more successful tribes. To think, one needed at least some time free from the chore of procuring food.
Native American tribes did not call their medicine people “shamans.” This is a New Age term often misapplied to Native American Spiritual Leaders by people of European descent, self-professed “medicine” people and their followers.
Native Americans, New Agers, and charlatans alike have radically augmented and revised the tenets of traditional Native American religions. “Crystal skull caretakers” sit beside Native American medicine men and medicine women, shamans and priests, and “Star Beings,” rather than buffalo, are pondered. Outraged Native Americans have entered this fray, castigating those they see exploiting traditional Native American spirituality.
These medicine men or spiritual leaders were in a different class than the other men of their tribe. This special status was not dependent on their hunting and fishing. Contact with other tribes enabled thinkers to build and expand their belief frameworks, so medicine men or spiritual leaders were more prevalent in tribes that were accessible to outsiders.
As contemporary Native American religious flowerings are best understood by first examining the origins of Native American Spirituality, all of the contemporary sects are best comprehended in light of the traditional religions. As these differ from their New Age and Christian versions, each group is also unique compared to other traditional sects. These traditional sects are best understood as a conglomerate by investigating a few individual traditional Native American religions.
Indian Medicine Men, Spiritual Leaders, Priests and Shamans
Chief Gerald Glenn, the Medicine Man, was second only to the chief in importance and standing within his tribal group. His duties involved both religious interpretations and pharmacology. A good medicine man became adept at both and as a result, he was often thought of as one who possessed magical powers. Before William Penn’s holy experiment, human impact in the Pocono Mountains by Native Americans and European settlers was minimal.
The Pennsylvania Mountains was one of the last colonies to be settled in the northern region of the state. The region remained wilderness until pressure from European settlers caused and influx of Native Americans from Maryland and the Carolinas’. Glenn, a direct descendent of the Lenape Chieftain of the Penn and Lenape Peace Treaty, 1682, Chief Tammany who died in 1718, was his great-great-grandfather. His wife, a Huron Princess, reared sons who took over as Chief of Nations along the Delaware Water Gap. They lived in peace with the residents of Stroudsburg, founded by Jacob Stroud in 1799.
The villages of the mountains raised buckwheat and rye, a big crop with potatoes, maze, oats, cattle, sheep, and hogs. Chief of his village as well as Chief of the Northeastern regional Forestry and Parks Services, Ranger Captain Glenn; like his, people are also members of the Northwestern Indian Confederacy in the Mountains of Pennsylvania, New York, and Canada. The tribal members are The Cree, The Creek, The Ottawa, The Seminole, The Huron, The Cherokee, The Algonquian, The Ojibwa, The Shawnee, and The Lenape Nations. Glenn continues his leadership in the protection of his people, their land, their tribal beliefs, and their heritage. Glenn’s mother was of Creek/Seminole descent while his father was the Tribal Chief of The Shawnee-Lenape (Munsee-Minisink) of Ontario Canada and the Poconos.
Willice Samuel’s family arrived up North from Georgia by way of Winnsboro, South Carolina. The family settled in Coatesville Pennsylvania, in or about April 1911. Willice’s Great-Great Grandfather talked about a lynching and burned at the stake murder of a Black Man by a mob of white men who wore masks. He said the Black Man; named Zachariah Walker was accused of shooting to death a white cop; named Edgar Rice. He was supposed to have been a special police officer in Coatesville. He went on to say, “The Colored Man was chased and treed in the woods in or near the Robert Faddis Woods near Youngsburg.
The Black Man tried to shoot himself in the head, but failed. They took the Black Man to the hospital were his injuries were treated. A gang of white men broke the window in the main hallway, corralled the police officer guarding him and dragged the Black Man from his sick bed to the Sarah Jane Newland Farm just to the right of the road and almost directly opposite the farmhouse. In a grass field about fifty feet from the road, they gathered dried Chestnut Rails and old fencing to build a fire. It took all of three minutes to get the fire up to a height of ten feet or more. They asked him if he had any last words…he didn’t. He was then thrown into the fire. The flames burned his clothes and seared his flesh – he managed to leap from the fire-pile and jump over a fence. They caught him and tied a rope around his neck and dragged him back onto the burning fire. Walker tried two more times to get out of the bonfire. He tried to get out of the seething furnace of hell. But he was beaten and pulled him back on the burning pile with each try.”
Great-Great-Grandpa continued on with the graphic details. “The sickening smell of burning flesh permeated the air. Folks came from all around to see and take pictures of the burning Black Man. They laughed and drank liquor. Their children had fun too. This all happened on or around Saturday April 12, 1911…we packed and moved to Philadelphia.” The Willice’s are descendants of America’s lucrative Industry of Black Slavery.
After settling in South Philly with his wife, Emma Lou, Grandpop Willie and their nearly a dozen children; including Scott’s Mom, they attended Mother Bethel Church, the original AME Sanctuary founded by and with the courage of ‘Richard Allen.’ He motivated our people to organize a Black Congregation after he and fellow Blacks were discriminated against at the St. George’s Methodist Church in Downtown Philadelphia, Pa.
Brother Allen’s cause and mission was so great and mighty that he inspired African Americans and other people of color and not in the most distant lands and places as far away as South Africa to Philadelphia’s City and surrounding Suburb of Montgomery County, where several AME Churches thrive to this very day.
Of course, as we all are well aware, there are folks who argue that the confederate flag is simply or just a proud symbol of heritage and that history regarding such matters has no relevancy today.
Sadly, that murdering racist in God’s Emanuel AME Temple wore patches of South Africa’s extinct apartheid regime-system of so-called ‘white-supremacy.’ Pulling the trigger of his gun exacerbated and magnified the growing international nature of his disease and depravity.
None of the perpetrators were ever sought out or successfully captured and/or protected for a crime that happened near the same fields and lands that Brother Scott and My family-ancestors were kept in brutal bondage while struggling to survive, fighting tooth-and-nail for a better day with the scorching flames of hatred all about them.
Benjamin F. Randolph, also a state senator and reverend, fought for Black Rights; gave a presentation at Brother Pinckney’s Emanuel AME Church in Charleston.
Following the civil war in which he served as a Chaplain of the 26th United States Colored Troops, he was brutally assassinated at an Abbeville, S.C. train station upstate where three white men, right out in the light of day, approached and blew him away in a fashion of vile and villainous cold and treacherous blood.
‘The Rails, Some Hemp, and A Hanging’
The Sun hadn’t risen to light up the world this morning. This pain-in-the-ass of a war has proven fruitless. It has put us all in a terrible bind. The ‘Blue-Bellies’ outside were laughing and joking right under the window of my jail-cell window. And as I recall, I think I could see several ‘darky’s’ planting, plowing, picking, and singing in the distance. The damned ‘Yankees’ have taken all that belongs to us…
A couple, maybe three of four birds chirped and sang in the distance. There could not have been any more than that, I’m sure. The Yankee soldiers outside reveled in their mastery while enjoying the aromatic scents of ‘Hemp’ and ‘Moonshine.’ There was no other way to get liquor other than someone making it themselves. There was no store-bought liquor to be had for miles in any direction.
The company had its share of ‘shiner’s’ on both sides of the war-torn fences. Their horses bayed and pranced in the cold damp yet dark beginning of the day’s morn. My hanging tribunal was short and to the point. My foolish guilt could not be reversed, albeit, my hatred for these ‘Blue-Coats’ and their Black supporters surpasses my pain and sorrowful agony. I do long for the fragrance and joys of home… My dear sweet ‘Abbey,’ my darling wife and young’uns; my plantation and memories of France cut at my brain.
In France I was broke, poor, and penniless… Here in South Louisiana, I have become rich, powerful, and wholesome. I have more than a hundred acres of land manned by two-hundred and eighty-five of the best young and strong Black livestock in the territory. Four hundred head of cattle graze on my lands. The farmyard houses chickens, geese, ducks, pork, and several dozen head of living horse flesh along with a few dogs and cats. I am a very wealthy man indeed.
These invaders, these usurpers, these Black-defenders who have confiscated our properties…must all return to their northern domains and domiciles or die. We have made and taken great lengths and efforts to drive them out. They will not relinquish our belongings…they will lose theirs!
Cowards and subordinates have taken the places of my one time friends and neighbors. They have cravingly crept into running, hiding, and collaborating with the disciples of the leader of reform, abolition, and reverse slavery for white land owners and the young’uns. I sir, will not allow it, not at all. Someone ought to put a bullet in the head of that tall and long bearded charlatan in that ‘White-House’ Capital of theirs!
I will fight them to my last breath. I will spit on thee and kill thee upon sight of your blue coats. Bounties have been imposed on you white folks who hire, save, utilize, employ, and/or hide any Black run-away slaves or so-called Union Soldiers. I will kill them, and kill them until I can kill them no more. I will shoot their horses, cook their dogs and livestock…and hang anyone who interferes. Their buildings, houses, transportation, bridges, and trestles are game subjects for the targeting of my wrath and abhorrence for their tyranny! Resistance will not be futile.
Did I kiss my wife and daughters this morning? I, for the life of me do not recall. I cannot remember!
The drifting tufts of the smoking hemp are most gratifying… I’d like a pipe-full. My pipe-full, did I leave it on the terrace table next to my comforting rocking-chair? I do believe that I have. I left it for my return to relaxation once the bridge is blown. That will stop the intrusion, the advancement of these ‘nigger-lovers’ from coming down here, through here.
The morning…its’ beginning was indeed ominous. It was strangely and mysteriously overcast with heavy thick clouds of gray and dulling-whiteness overhead. One bird made a noise that I could hear. The keys of the jail-house door clang and rattled. No breakfast did I receive; no water for washing or drinking was permitted either.
The voiceless ‘Blue-Bellies’ had come for me. It was a time to reflect my misgivings. Do I have any? I wonder. The coldness of the morn and the trembling of my fear, have caused me apprehension to begin the procession to the bridge. I did resist. I did struggle against them, my enemies. But it was all for naught. And then I complied with their directions. We marched from the jail-house toward the desolation of the ‘Owl Creek Bridge.’
A Posted Warning:
‘ORDER…ANY CIVILIAN CAUGHT INTERFERING WITH THE RAILROAD BRIDGES, TUNNELS, OR TRAINS WILL BE SUMMARILY HANGED!’
~This 12 of April 1862~
The posted sign warned all who would keep men as slaves while opposing a right and just law. But this stalwart southerner, tried to blow up ‘The Owl Creek Bridge’ anyway.
“Yes, something occurred at ‘The Owl Creek Bridge’ one morning during the war. It was a chilly, misty, and cloudy one at that.
I was a private when we hung em.” The officer continued on with his recollection. “He was defiant as hell, right up until the end, well, least ways when we put that ‘hemp-rope’ around his neck. We tied his legs and feet so’s they won’t kick and flail. He cried. We then stood his cowardly ass atop a nice new plank…and dropped him like a sack of ‘tatter’s’ in the drink. Lucky for him there was no ‘gators’ swimming about.”
The drum-roll sounded. A bugle blew the morning ‘reviles.’ An owl was heard hooting just as I heard the commander bark the order:
‘First squad, stand-fast! Forward hupp!’
Then, the sound of marching boots…including those which covered my feet. The owl began to sound like a child’s whistle, a flute, or maybe a turtle-dove.
The first Sergeant; with my eyes I did see him un-winding and unraveling the knotted hemp. This was being done in preparation for the perfect noose-fitting around my neck. It simply did fit just perfectly.
Wet from perspiration, my jet-black, long wavy hair did drip the sweat all over me. Blowing through was the wind, but not through the dead looking, leafless trees all around. They just stood there staring at me, laughing at me without an ounce of pity or sorrow; the dead looking, and lifeless gray things. They appeared to be burnt wistful embers of black, gray, and white sinews.
The snow fell from the sky a few days ago. I trembled. I heard my pocket-watch tick…
“Take his watch!” A voice ordered. It was taken away as I stood backward upon a fresh new plank of wood.
Was I dreaming this horrible thing? Abbey, Abbey, my dear darling ‘Abigail.’ Am I not home with you and the babies, my darling? Do I feel the warmth of our bed and the tender bliss of our happiness?
‘A living man, I want to be a living man…’ My dearest, I am with thee, I see thee – I do; I feel thee.
~ ‘A livin man, a livin man… I wants to be a livin man.
In all da world, he moves around, he walks around, he turns around…
I sees each tree, I reads each vein, I hears each worm upon each leaf…
The buzzing flies, the splashing fish, they moves around this livin man…
A livin man, a livin man – I want to be a ‘Living Man.’~
“At ten-hut!” shouted the commanding officer. I cried some more… Plunging down, down, and further down into the cold, cold drink, I was suddenly shocked. The cold icy-water pulled me straight to the bottom. My shiny new black knee-high boots filled with creek liquid. I was forced to part with them once I was free of my bonds. The fish gazed and gawked from in front of me and from behind every crevice. I hurriedly swam to the top for air. At the surface, there was plenty to be had.
I heard the birds singing and chirping. I saw the flowers and blooming blossoms on the trees. A beautiful spider was mending her web as a wondrous green frog leaped from one leaf to another… A shot splashed close to my left ear. I saw the soldiers up on the train’s bridge. They were training their weapons upon me…they are going to shoot me, to kill me!
They were steadily shouting at me as I quickly swam away. I swam very fast as though my life depended on it. I outswam their bullets. Under the water, the fish and a tortoise joined me in the trek. I surfaced for air and swam a bit further. A ‘Cottonmouth’ saw me and wiggled in my direction. Diving beneath him allowed an avoidance. They kept shooting at me with handguns, rifles, and cannons. The hemp was still about my neck. Somehow, it had broken from the fall off the bridge.
“He must be hanged! Sergeant, give the order to open fire!”
“If it’s necessary, fire the cannon as well!”
“PRESENT YOUR ARMS! STAND FAST MEN! STEADY MEN, STEADY…AIM, FIRE! HE MUSTN’T ESCAPE! THERE HE IS…HE’S STILL MOVING. HE WON’T GET FAR. HE’S LIKE A RAT IN A TRAP… IN A TRAP, A TRAP, A TRAP! FIRE AT WILL!”
They continued firing and reloading. The bullets and shells hit all around me in the water. The more I swam, the lesser the fire-power. The white-water rapids were now upon me. They threw me this way and that way, hither and fro…they carried me closer and closer towards home.
The forest changed from cold dead limbs to lively and beautiful green leaves with healthy foliage upon the ground. I ran heavily through the fields and into the woods. I ran and ran for what seemed like endless hours. The gunshots and cannon-fire drowned and disappeared in the distance behind me. Then suddenly a familiar pathway opened up in front of me. It pointed, beckoned to me to come hither. The trees, the tallest redwoods or dogwoods that I’ve ever seen stood on either side of the roadway. Wagon traffic must have traversed these woodlands. The pathway was worn well. I ran and ran some more…I ran toward home.
It was familiar, yet it was not. The twenty foot tall wrought-iron double gates stood closed at the end of the pathway. They opened wide upon my approach and closed tightly behind me after I’d passed through. I kept on running, running towards home.
My shoeless feet bled as I began to walk. I’d fallen from running. I was tired but rejuvenated with my new found freedom. I began to skip through the pussy-willows. I then saw it. The multiple tall white columns that adorned the veranda was a welcomed sight indeed. My heart jumped and skipped with gladness. The porch, upon which my rocking-chair sat, the table whose top kept good my corn-cobb pipe filled to the brim with the best flavored hemp, accompanied by a bowl of my savory smoking tobacco. Next to it was my little brown jug.
The mansion’s multi-paned windows gleamed in the bright and warm sunlight. The immaculate and tasteful clothing that I wore were now tattered, dirty, and full of filth. They were shredded to mere rags. I did not care. I was home.
There she is, there she comes… My dear sweet and most beautiful Abbey. I could hear my children laughing and playing…she ran to me – for me…Abigail, my loving wife.
She saw me running toward her. I could not get there soon enough, fast enough. My rags flittered in the racing wind. What was left of my once magnificently embroidered vest simply hung from my shoulders? My pantaloons were mere shreds about my hips and thighs…I did not care. I was finally and completely home!
She reached for me and hugged me. She kissed and caressed me. She held me tightly. I felt her breast upon mine. I felt her warm and full lips upon mine. Her heartbeat was strong as she held me fast and firm. I was home – fully and completely home.
“This is strange dear Abbey…it’s eerily and suddenly quiet. Where are the ‘darkies?’” She quietly smiled. Her pearly white teeth and ruby red lips simply smiled at me. Her beautifully long thick black hair flowed with a sudden gust of wind as she kissed me once more.
“To bed my dear…I wish to bed thee now. It seems like it’s been so long since we’ve made beautiful love. The warmth of you and our bed will feel oh so very delightful, indeed.
Where are the children – where are all the animals?”
She hugged and kissed me some more…and simply smiled as we turned toward the house and the bedroom.
I was happy, oh so very happy and relieved.
I began to cough…it grew worse and would not stop. Abbey smiled and reached for me with open arms and a deliciously delightful kiss that I did not, could not receive. The pain in my neck…on how painful it was.
“My ears heard a pop and a snap while my eyes beheld the bridge full of soldiers above and the cold murky water flowing below… The steady swinging portrayed the cold gray sky and the wispy willows of the dead and lifeless land …all about.
My mind’s ear heard singing. It was the voice of a Black singing an old familiar song of the south. Was this sound also a dream?”
‘A livin man, a livin man, I wants to be a livin man…
In all da world, he moves around, he walks around…
I sees each tree, I reads each vein, I hears each worm upon each leaf…
The buzzin flies, the splashin fish, they moves around this livin man…
a livin man, a livin man – I want to be a ‘Living man!’ ~
Peyton Farguhar was just plain stupid. He was not a soldier nor was he involved in the activities of the war. He was a civilian southern plantation owner with a family and the owner of slaves.
Peyton was a secessionist who wanted to be a soldier. He wanted to strike a blow for the sovereign states of the south.
Farguhar suckered himself into involvement by acting on an opportunity to fulfill his wish.
“I’ll blow up the damned bridge!” He was warned not to take action on his own by participants of the horrible conflict and that of his close friends. After his capture and sentencing, he dreamed of home and family like so many of the Black slaves once did, the people he despised, with his neck in a noose.
The bridge intended for destruction, stood over ‘Owl Creek,’ bearing the plank that bared the weight of the doomed believer of the confederacy. Peyton Farguhar wished that he’d remained at home.
In light of the tragedies and unjust travesties world-wide, I would profoundly concur with our poignant Brother Scott; “finding ourselves secure in the “Amazing Grace” of love, hope, and sacrifice of the remarkable power of our people.” In all of the pain and persecution endured, blessed with the existence of Emanuel AME, Multi-Racial Church Communities, Supportive Organizations of Word-Wide Denominations endeavoring to persevere in the eradication, annihilation, and slaughtering of injustice – now and forever… Amen!
Today there is chaos, wars, starvation, greed, envy, betrayal and mistrust among the populace and the nations of the world. It is said by many, the prophet shall surely return to this world.
Til Next Time…
BoulwareEnterprises – http://www.BoulwareEnterprises.com
Arlene Edmunds, “Remembering Charleston,” “Two Local African Festivals Draw Crowds”
21st Century Media News Service, Mt. Airy Times Express, Friday, July 10, 2015 – The Leader News
Don Scott, A Place In History:
“Eulogy for Church Shooting Victims Reflects on Those Who Fought Slavery”
Mt. Airy Times Express, Friday, July 10, 2015 – The Leader News
‘Charles Tailfeathers Sr.’
Native American Tribes and Cultures – History.com
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