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Tonight as I sit at home with my husband and wait to hearBarack Obama’s acceptance speech for the nomination of President from Democratic Party I can’t help but think about my own family.   I am 32 years old and I only have to count back five names, just five short-lived generations to get back to my ancestor that lived in slavery.  I consider myself fortunate because I know some of my families history.  Many blacks in the United States do not have the pleasure of knowing the names of their ancestors.  I encourage everyone who reads this to have conversations with your family memebers, especially the elders and find out the names of those who came before you.  Don’t let your family’s history be forgotten.  I take pride in who I am and I am grateful to Allah for my history and for guiding me to Islam.  This is a day that will be remembered for years to come as a milestone in this country.  Black people in the United States have worked and strove hard many a year to overcome the racial problems that exist here.   Racism is not something that is unique to the United States, it happens in every other country in the world in some form or fashion, but as for my own country, I am happy to see things change in my lifetime.

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    A Prince Among Slaves

    I am currently reading A Prince Among Slaves by Terry Alford.  I think that my degree in US History makes me partial to these kinds of titles.  I  am fortunate to have found friends with similar interests and we have a small book club going.  I am enjoying all the back story that the author was able to put together.  This story starts before the subject was even born, so you get great historical references and a back story that makes you feel like you are taking a journey.

    Synopsis

    In 1807, an Irish ship’s surgeon recognized a slave at a Mississippi produce market as the son of an African king who had saved his life many years earlier. “The Prince,” as he had become known to local Natchez, Mississippi, residents, had been captured by warring tribesmen when he was 26 years old, sold to slavetraders, and shipped to America. An educated, aristocratic slave, Abd Rahman Ibrahima was made overseer of the large cotton and tobacco plantation of his master, who refused to sell him to the doctor for any price. After 25 years of petitioning, Dr. Cox finally gained Ibrahima his freedom, through the intercession of U.S. Secretary of State Henry Clay. Sixty-six-year-old Ibrahima sailed for Africa the following year, with his wife, two sons, and several grandchildren, and died there of fever just five months after his arrival. Prince Among Slaves is the first full account of Ibrahima’s life, pieced together from first-person accounts and historical documents. It is not only a remarkable story, but the story of a remarkable man, who endured the humiliation of slavery without ever losing his dignity or his hope for freedom.

    a-slave-no-more.jpg

    This is a newly published collection that I am looking forward to reading.  I want to bring it to people’s attention because there are so few autobiographies from slaves or former slaves it is important to preserve the history that we have, share it with our children and remember where we come from.

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    Slave narratives, some of the most powerful records of our past, are extremely rare, with only fifty-five post–Civil War narratives surviving. A mere handful are first-person accounts by slaves who ran away and freed themselves. Now two newly uncovered narratives, and the biographies of the men who wrote them, join that exclusive group with the publication of A Slave No More, a major new addition to the canon of American history. Handed down through family and friends, these narratives tell gripping stories of escape: Through a combination of intelligence, daring, and sheer luck, the men reached the protection of the occupying Union troops. David W. Blight magnifies the drama and significance by prefacing the narratives with each man’s life history. Using a wealth of genealogical information, Blight has reconstructed their childhoods as sons of white slaveholders, their service as cooks and camp hands during the Civil War, and their climb to black working-class stability in the north, where they reunited their families.In the stories of Turnage and Washington, we find history at its most intimate, portals that offer a rich new answer to the question of how four million people moved from slavery to freedom. In A Slave No More, the untold stories of two ordinary men take their place at the heart of the American experience.

    Yunus 10:18

    And they worship besides Allâh things that hurt them not, nor profit them, and they say: "These are our intercessors with Allâh." Say: "Do you inform Allâh of that which He knows not in the heavens and on the earth?" Glorified and Exalted be He above all that which they associate as partners with Him!

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