Monday, August 27, 2012

Slaves and Kettlecorn

 
We recently headed downtown for a Saturday morning at our local Farmer's Market. It's right in the middle of our downtown and I love it. So do the boys. Hubby loves the kettle corn. He tolerates the rest of it for us. Which I appreciate.
 
This particular day hubby had his mandatory bag of kettle corn. It was particularly crowded, probably because the weather was absolutely perfect. Hubby, not being at all a fan of crowds, and only tolerating the FM overall, decided to have a seat and munch on the kettle corn with the kid while baby E and I finished up our shopping and general wanderings.
 
Baby E and I went off to enjoy the bounty while hubby and the kid snacked away. Hubby then happened to notice this sign behind them. If you're local, you probably know the history of this particular area of town. And I did, too, but I'd never really thought about it too much. Til hubby pointed it out to me, and the irony of the spot they'd chosen for their snack.
 
The sign says:
Slave Auction Block
African Americans were sold as slaves at this Auction Block on the public square in the 19th century. [Our city] was the center of slave trading in [our state] by the late 1840's and serviced as a market for selling slaves farther south. Thousands of slaves were sold at [this location], including children who were separated from their parents.
 
Less than 200 years ago, not only would my family have been impossible - illegal! - my children could have been sold. This reality smacked me in the face and left me without words for several minutes (and, lets be honest, that's quite a feat).
 
I still haven't really processed it completely. Because every time I start to think about it, and specifically when I start to think about the day when my sons have this same realization, I am overwhelmed with sadness, anger, disbelief, and indecision. I have no idea how to talk to them about it. And then I am grateful that I don't have to. Yet.
 
 
Today's Lesson: Sometimes we all seek solace and safety in procrastination. And just sometimes that's okay.

6 comments:

E. Phantzi said...

This stuff is gut-wrenching. I know what you mean about hitting those moments when, if you let yourself really think and feel everything that's implicated, you'd explode or fall to pieces.

Alex said...

Wow. That's not that long ago, and it's amazing to think about. Those are really going to be tough conversations. Later...

Elizabeth said...

What a gut-wrenching realization. It's unbelievable what humans are capable of doing to one another. I'm sure when the time is right, you will have the right words to discuss all this with your kiddos.

Emms said...

It will never cease to amaze me the pure stupidity that we, as humans, can exhibit at times. Slavery? One major example of said stupidity. I can only imagine the way you felt that in your whole body when it hit home. I'm glad for you that this is one of those times that you can spend time figuring out what to say and the best way to say it!

Logical Libby said...

That stuns me. And I have no idea how I going to ever explain it to my girl. Except to tell her we have come a long way since then.

callmemama said...

Yep, I get it. How on earth to find the words to explain it all to our little guys? So tough...