Post Classifieds

Uncover black history

By Franklin
On February 21, 2013

  • He's out. Paul Johnson, prevents a Tiger from reaching base.

A few weeks ago I sat in The Panther office reading a USA Today news report about a city cemetery in Hamilton, Ga., divided by a fence.
"At first glance, that fence seems as defiant and forbidding as the "Whites Only" signs that once defined life in this city of 1,021 about 90 miles southwest of Atlanta," said Larry Copeland, USA Today reporter.
Copeland was describing the traditionally segregated cemeteries dating back to the late 17th century, which separated the black graves from the white ones.
Obviously no longer legally segregated, the Hamilton City Cemetery and others of the Deep South remain at least visually segregated by overgrown and well-tended black and white graves respectively.
Ironically, I opened to the report a few days after burying a cousin in Clinton, La.
Louisiana bred with Texas roots, my family rests throughout the state Louisiana in homes both above and below ground, residing in walls once owned by the family's master as well as the confinements of an 84 by 28 by 23 inch coffin a few acres away.
As we celebrated the loss of a family member, I was made to acknowledge the family lost before him that shares the plantation's soil as a lasting resting place.
No longer reminiscent of the acres of cotton that my family once plowed as slaves or the shacks made to resemble suitable living quarters, the cemetery rests aside an abandoned church.
Alike to the orphaned church grounds, the cemetery rests within a rusted fencing, infested with weeds, leaving few tombstones if one stood to be visible to naked eye.
Walking aside my father as he explained the names, I read the stones; pushing away debris with a stick I read the names of slaves...I read the names of family.
Immediately humbled in the moment but as I recalled walking through the cemetery while reading, my heart filled with was no longer the tombs of slaves but the home of family.
Trust that Barbara Jean and her kinfolk can clearly read the names of the generations of white men that called claim to my family.
Realize the graves of my family are left to the wills of nature while hers may be groomed and restored by the hands of man.
Empathize that my history is being eroded while another stands withstanding.
Recognize the memory of the enslaved is being buried by time while the lasting modern notion of the master is manicured to overcome time.
Appreciate the metaphor to follow...
Just as soil, leaves, and waste cover the graves of slaves; the dirt of ignorance covers their history.
February marks an observance of both the brave and innovative movements of black people everywhere yet the celebration of black history is recurrent.
The graves of American slaves are omnipresent shadows of why you are even able to read this editorial.
Black history is more than Thurgood and Martin, greater than Mae Jemison and Vivian Thomas.
Black history is family; the family who stood bare back to bear the whip of the master so you can create textgrams on Instagram devaluing their names.
As Black History Month comes to a close next week, continue to remove the filth that covers black history past the days and weeks of February.
Take time to study black history to free the memory of those who never understood the meaning of freedom, the slave...your family.

Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly

More pvpanther News Articles

Recent pvpanther News Articles

Discuss This Article



For Panther reads thinking about LASIK surgery. Our LASIK Houston eye doctors are highly experienced and trained ophthalmologists offering LASIK vision correction options to patients in the Houston area. Your Source for LASIK eye surgery in Houston.

Log In

or Create an account

Employers & Housing Providers

Employers can list job opportunities for students

Post a Job

Housing Providers can list available housing

Post Housing

Log In

Forgot your password?

Your new password has been sent to your email!

Logout Successful!

Please Select Your College/University:

You just missed it! This listing has been filled.

Post your own housing listing on Uloop and have students reach out to you!

Upload An Image

Please select an image to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format
Provide URL where image can be downloaded
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format