I OfTen WoNder.......


Me and My Slave Granddaddy Ike

I OFTEN WONDER..... about "1870"....... just 7 years after the End of Slavery. It's the 1st Census most "Black Folk" are to be counted as citizens. I've been researching my Family, both sides of Me for 13 years now. I feel like I only have a smidgen of it done. The enormous task is a masterpiece of our lives  that never is completely done. It's all done with a labor of love.
As I stare at the * 1870 Alabama census that my SLAVE Granddaddy Ike first appears on he is 17. Born  February 14th, 1853 according to his official death certificate in 1937. He is still living at home with his sisters Rosanna and Isabella along with their Parents.
1870 Census of Granddaddy
 Ike w/Parents and Siblings


Then I take a glance, I look at Pennsylvania's 1870 census and see my White Grandmother Rosanna, same age as Ike of 17, living with her Parents. She is always FREE.
They were both 17 in 1870. Grandma Rosanna was born on April 3rd, 1853. 115 years later, her Granddaughter True would be born on that same day in 1968.
The contrasts in 2 lives so far apart and yet oh so close, thru one child.

I wonder if Granddaddy Ike and Grandma Rosanna would meet just half way somewhere? Being kind and respectful of one another and just having a talk abt the days to come in the future and what their lives where just a few short years ago.

I know he wouldn't be able to just come upon a White Woman and talk. He would have to bow and remove his hat and hang his head low in reality.There would be a chaperone or White man accompanying her. 

But just for a moment in time, away from all of the ugliness, a meeting of respect between two lives "Crossing Paths". I want to imagine what that conversation would be like? Just "supposing" in my mind. Would she know all of what Granddaddy Ike had to go thru being under a White man's control like animal chattle just for the color of his skin? Being mistreated and to go thru it all for his children's children's children's wouldn't have to?

I know he would be considerate and thoughtful of her being a Woman. Having just about no Rights herself, with the attitude of staying in her place, just to be seen and not heard. Being barefoot and pregnant and the other half of her life always taking care of children. Was she truly able to realize and make her dreams and hopes come to fruition.

It's 2012 and that Question is still trying to be answered.





My Grandma Rosanna with Grandpa Levi Alexander Watson
I OFTEN WONDER.......If Granddaddy Ike and Grandma Rosanna met together this would have been my "Coming to the Table" moment, just for me. Talking abt days gone by and what is to come? Would they smile a while and talk over some sweet southern tea?  I just "suppose", When all this hurt and shame is over and they are gone and can no longer be here to share and talk, and to think on a True moment that they have "SHARED" that Grandbaby True Ann?  What they would of thought if they could of known and seen that I was coming?  I'd like to know in my heart that they had some of these thoughts.

That is what they have in common! THEIR common bond! Not so many differences at all. That the baby in 1968 would tie them all together one day, with the realization that all their hopes and dreams are on that "SHARED baby"? It's not the COLOR of our skin, but the BLOOD that runs thru her veins, is from "Former Slave to Free White Woman".



I OFTEN WONDER......


* Source Citation:  Year: 1870; Census Place: Ridgely, Bullock, Alabama; Roll: M593_4; Page: 271B; Image: 545; Family History Library Film: 545503.

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