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Freedom From Terror: MLK JR’s Legacy


“Your father and his brother, the mayor, came into the kitchen with a rope. They said a black man had raped a white woman and they were going out hunting for him. I was terrified.”

Until I was an adult, my mother had told me nothing about her dashing, handsome husband, my birth father.

She asked me not to look for him because he was “dangerous.” I honored her request until I was forty-seven years old, when I searched for and found my father, an old man living in South Georgia.

Mom was a beautiful, small town Northern Pennsylvania school teacher who had spent years caring for her sick mother. He, a charming Southern soldier on leave, had swept her off her feet. They married on a whim. On their honeymoon, he took her to visit his traditional, southern family where she discovered his true identity.

With a flare towards the romantic, mom picked her china pattern, ‘The Georgian’ by Homer Laughlin,  learned to make Southern Biscuits, got on a train back to Pennsylvania and seldom saw the man she married until after WWII.

He returned to discuss divorce, disown me, and disappear. He never appeared in our family story until I found him in his kitchen forty-seven years later.

“I always wondered what happened to you, but I never did anything about it.” sad words from my elderly father, as I sat at his knee bawling.

We spoke on the phone several times and then three months later he died. The end.  Yet my work was just beginning. I needed to forgive the trauma and loneliness, depression and anger that remained in me.

When I read this article, I remembered him again and thought about the terror he was responsible for in that Southern town so many years ago.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/08/29/1011562/-Most-of-you-have-no-idea-what-Martin-Luther-King-actually-did

Spirited Letter from a Slave to His Master 1865


English: Family on Smith's Plantation, Beaufor...

Image via Wikipedia

In 1865, P.H. Anderson of Big Spring, Tennessee,  wrote to his former slave, Jourdan Anderson, coaxing him to come back to work on his farm for wages.

Jourdan, who, since being emancipated, had moved to Ohio, found paid work as a stableman, and was now supporting his family, responded elegantly by dictated letter.  The letter was published in the Aug. 22, 1865 issue of the New York Daily Tribune. As far as can be researched, this is a true story, about real people and events.

I hope you read and enjoy this letter! Written with ironic humor, it gives fabulous insight into the sharp mind of one former slave.

Letters of Note: To My Old Master.

http://boingboing.net/2010/08/10/a-letter-from-a-free.html