“Zoe how was school?”
“What did you learn today?”
“Since its black history month we talked about Martin Luther King in History class.”
“Well what did you learn about him?”
“We learned that he was a civil rights leader.”
“Ok, is that all?”
“And some other stuff.”
“Listen, black history is an important part of history for many reasons. Pull up a chair and come sit at the table with me.”
“Do I have to?”
“If you know what’s good for you, you will come have a seat next to me?”
“When I was a little girl, around your age your Great Great grandmother used to tell me these stories. These stories were told to her when she was a little girl. They were about the awful treatment of African Americans during slavery.”
“The year was 1835 and everyone kept talking about the rumors they heard. The rumors were about this mysterious woman that came in the night to rescue slaves. She was their hope of being freed.
“But others said she was a myth and the rumors were to keep slaves from giving up. The tale started on a nearby plantation. A strange woman showed up to meet with Master Collins, looking for some of his best field hands to tend to her cotton crop.
“Mama what is a field hand?”
“A field hand is a person that works in the fields on a plantation. They see to it that the crops are properly taken care of. This is usually done by a male slave, but women have been known to tend to the field as well.”
The Collins plantation was known for its Cotton and wheat crop. His plantation was one of several thousand acres. He’s also known for having the worse overseers in the state of Louisiana.
“What’s an overseer?”
“An overseer is the person who supervises the slaves while they work. If they’re caught not working or trying to escape the overseer can whip the slaves with a whip.”