African American History in McMinn County: From Slavery to Enlightenment: A Journey of Hope

9780615795119: African American History in McMinn County: From Slavery to Enlightenment: A Journey of Hope

When I began researching Black history for this book three years ago, I had to rely on both oral and written history. When we first emerged from the bondage of slavery, often only a few of the first and second generations were literate, therefore, very few records were kept. It is rare for one to browse through pages of a Census that was taken from the mid-1800s and find the names of their fathers and mothers. Southern historical writers show that a slave was often catalogued as cattle. Can you imagine that!? So the question is where did we come from? We, as a people, did not come here of our own free will - we came here as the lowest classification of animals. We were brought to these shores shackled and manacled to be used as beasts of burden. But we survived. Why? Because we as a Black race descended from one of the oldest civilizations in the world: The African Continent. We are the descendants of slaves and are a very proud people. We were torn from the “Mother Land” against our will and were sold to the highest bidder. We are products of those troubling times, just as our ancestors were - only their experience was worse. Yes, we are a mixed breed of people who cling to our basic heritage, however, we must move forward and approach our future with hope, optimism and faith This isn’t a white book, a black book, or a white-wash book - it is a history book. It isn’t meant to offend, but to bring a sense of clarity. History often is not pretty, but, at the end of the day, we as a people - Black People - can, regardless of what we have been relegated to, “Stand up and say that we are not totally free, but we can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it is a new day!”

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