Jul. 1, 2021

Lucian Abernathy, His Words

Words From A Captive Ancestor
Federal Writer’s Project
Lucian Abernathy Age 85

Jun. 30, 2021

Aunt Sally: Lived A Life Without Many Rewards Even After Slavery

Excuse the last part of today's reading that is what happens when you read primary documents more than 80 years old, the print was so jumbled I could read it with the clarity I needed.

Jun. 29, 2021

Powerful Words Of Our Ancestors Held In Bondage

Jasper Battle, age 80, at the time of the interview talked about his existence on the plantation as a young black slave. As I continue my project reading the words of those who rose out of bondage to freedom.

Jun. 29, 2021

Black Voter Suppression Has Always Been America’s Focus

“Upon every side in [Georgia], the indications are clear, that the snake, Rebellion, has been only scotched there, and not killed.” The legislator Abram Colby reported that one night in October 1869 thirty disguised men had come to his home. “They broke my door open, took me out of bed, took me to the woods and whipped me three hours or more and left me for dead. They said to me, ‘Do you think you will ever vote another damned Radical ticket?’ I said, ‘I will not tell you a lie.’ I supposed they would kill me anyhow. I said, ‘If there was an election tomorrow, I would vote the Radical ticket.’ They set in and whipped me a thousand licks more, with sticks and straps that had buckles on the ends of them.”

And finally, now, to-day, when we are awakening to the fact that the perpetuity of republican institutions on this continent depends on the purification of the ballot, the civic training of voters, and the raising of voting to the plane of a solemn duty which a patriotic citizen neglects to his peril and to the peril of his children’s children,—in this day, when we are striving for a renaissance of civic virtue, what are we going to say to the black voter of the South? Are we going to tell him still that politics is a disreputable and useless form of human activity? Are we going to induce the best class of Negroes to take less and less interest in government, and to give up their right to take such an interest, without a protest? I am not saying a word against all legitimate efforts to purge the ballot of ignorance, pauperism, and crime. But few have pretended that the present movement for disfranchisement in the South is for such a purpose; it has been plainly and frankly declared in nearly every case that the object of the disfranchising laws is the elimination of the black man from politics.
WEB Dubois

Many thought of the election of Barack Obama, not as the end of racism, but certainly as a turning point. And it was. But for many, President Obama's election was a turning point in a different direction. It spurred a backlash among white supremacists invested in maintaining the status quo.

It can be no coincidence that the carnage of the Voting Rights Act so central to the Shelby decision occurred during the presidency of our first-ever Black president. It is no coincidence that in the decade since Obama's election, voter suppression has gained more momentum, velocity, and animosity than it had in the previous three elections combined. Since Shelby County v. Holder, voter suppression has taken on more pervasive and pernicious forms than ever before.

Karine Jean-Pierre

Jun. 28, 2021

When So-called Friends Need Cash … Dash

“In 1989, a few months before Ralph Abernathy's death, Mr. Abernathy wrote and his publisher released his book detailing his experience working in the shadows of his best friend in the world, Martin Luther King Jr. The book The Walls Came Tumbling Down revealed many things about Mr. Abernathy's relationship with Dr. King. The most damaging was that Martin Luther King Jr.'s sexual appetite was so out of control that he had sex with two women the night before his assassination in Memphis. The reason Ralph Abernathy put this in the book was so obvious, Mr. Abernathy had to put in some bloody chum to feed the sharks and to increase the sales of the book. That was the only reason I can reason to put this in the book. If it was true, it should've went to his deathbed with Mr. Abernathy, not on some published page. This is just a bit of knowledge that you may not know about the itch to sell books over the desire to protect either your image or the image of those nearest you. In this case it tarnished Mr. Abernathy not Dr. King because Dr. King already dead 20 years couldn’t defend the allegations made by his supposed best friend.”