Good morning friends and family. It's another very beautiful day in Oakland. I spent the majority of the day yesterday preparing for a speech for Monday morning. The research has been enlightening, again. I say again because the topic is African-Americans in the civil war. So it's a topic I remember in high school but re reading the material has me look at that period from a different perspective. From the perspective of an adult woman who has experienced America and her racism, her love, her complexities for myself. I took a break from the speech to read the Narritive of Fredrick Douglass and to study more of the Dred Scott case, because how do I talk about the civil war without Fredrick Douglass or Dred Scott?
What I am noticing is that the speech I am writing is the unabridged version of the one I will deliver, but I am truly blessed by the assignment. I was talking to Yuri this morning and I said, "Why couldn't the topic be Grandmothers instead of the civil war?" To that she replied, "Because then you wouldn't grow." She was right. My ego would love to impress them with my Grandmothersy type poetry, but there would be no research to do. Not really. Not digging. Not rediscovering as I am doing now.
I remember recently my uncle Therman and I having a brief conversation about African-American men who fought on the confederate side in the war. In my reading I see the stories about how many of them were offererd their "freedom" (if they came out alive) if they fought for the confederates. Some others didn't even have a choice.
Reading about Fredrick Douglass has been really inspiring. But that's what black history month is supposed to be about. Right? Remembering again. Feeling again. Reloving. Reappreciating. Reeducating ourselves, our children, our communities.
Happy black history month to all of you. I hope you are on your own path to rediscovering you.