Granddaddy Ike and Me

I OFTEN WONDER.....about 1870, just 7 years after the end of Slavery. It's the 1st census most Black Folk are on to be counted as citizens. I've been researching my family, both sides of me for 16 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. I did this piece a while ago. I started it on facebook as a "NoTe To MySeLf" before I started blogging so I transferred it over here to my blog where it should be.

My Blog is my "Living Document".

As I stare at the Alabama census of 1870 Bullock County that my Grandaddy Ike first appears, he is 17 years old born on February 14th, 1853 according to his official death certificate. He is still living at home with his sisters Rosanna, Isabella and brother's along with his Parents: William and Minty.

Grandaddy Ike is on Line 24

Then I take a glance, I look at Pennsylvania's 1870 census and see my Grandmother Rosanna Harriet, same age as Granddaddy Ike of 17 and living with her Parents. She is always FREE!

Grandma Rosanna is on Line 21

They were both 17 in 1870 and Grandma Rosanna was born on April 3rd, 1853. 115 years later, her Granddaughter True would be born on that same day.
The contrast in 2 lives so far apart, yet! Oh so close through one Child.

I OFTEN WONDER..... if Grandaddy Ike and Grandma Rosanna would meet just half way somewhere? Being kind and respectful of one another and just having a talk about the days to come and the future and how their lives were just a few short years ago?  

I know he wouldn't be able to come upon a White woman and talk. He would have to bow and remove his hat and hang his head low not making eye contact without permission in reality, and there would still be a chaperon or White man accompanying her.

Just for a moment in time, away from all the ugliness, shame, a meeting of respect between two lives "Crossing Paths".

 I want to imagine what the conversation would be like? Just supposing in my mind.....Would she know all of what Grandaddy Ike had to go through being under a White man's rule and control like animal chattel just for the color of his skin? That he had a price on his life? Probably no more than 1,000 dollars? Being mistreated and to go through it all so his children's children's children's wouldn't have to go through?

It's 2014 and that Question is still trying to be Answered.

I know he would be considerate and thoughtful of her being a Woman. Having just about no rights herself, with the customs of the day of staying in her place. To be seen and not heard. Being barefoot and pregnant and the other half of her life always taking care of children. I hope to learn more if she was able to make  her Dreams and Hopes come to fruition?

Grandma Rosanna Harriet (Barrick) with Grandpa Levi Alexander Watson 

Granddaddy Ike passed away in 1937 and Grandma Rosanna died in 1927. He had 23children and she had 16.

I would descend from Grandaddy Ike's daughter Eddie Lee, and from Grandma Rosanna's daughter. Cora Agnes Rebecca.

I OFTEN WONDER..... if Grandaddy Ike and Grandma Rosanna met together this would be my "Coming To The Table" moment...just for ME! Talking about the days gone by and what is to come? Would they smile awhile and talk over some tea and sweet cakes?

That one day, one when all this hurt and shame is over and they are no longer to be here to share and talk and to think on a "True" moment that they have "Shared", that Grandbaby True?

In the End 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 through Her veins.

Is from "Slave" to "Free White Woman".


Published by Upfront with NGS