It was not the first time I had seen a cotton field but it was the first time I actually pulled over to the side of the road for a closer view.
You first notice the enormity of it, how it begins but there is really no end that the eyes can see. You want to acknowledge the beauty but the pain is overwhelming, you cannot remove the visions of back breaking work from sun up to sun down in the extreme weather offering up one’s life and family’s enslavement for free labor motivated only by the whip and will to live.
Free labor that was the foundational capital this country was built on.
Edward E. Baptist’s book “The Half Has Never Been Told, Slavery and the making of America’s Capitalism” comes to mind out of the many other books I have read and studied on the topic.
It covers key topics and stories purposely kept out of the history books our schools put in front of us, by design you understand.
Too often I hear people say, “that was so long ago, why can’t we put it behind us?” We cannot because we have always trailed from the “behind”
Yet here we are still rocked by the ripples of tremors felt so long ago.