Tag Archives: slavery

I had almost fell out with God for making me a slave

In celebration of the heroes of the Underground Railroad, Ohio Memory and the Ohio Historical Society are providing free digital access to the internationally-acclaimed Wilbur H. Siebert Collection during this year’s Black History Month. The following narrative [MSS116AV BOX 57 08OH 031] by escaped slave Asbury Parker is from the collection. Spelling and punctuation are Parker’s own. [Ohio […]


Book Excerpt: ‘Black Blue Bloods’

My great-great grandparents, Mack & Caroline Saxon [shown on the book cover], were some of the richest people, black or white, in this region at that time. Not only did they race horses, they owned over a dozen businesses including a fairground, built a Julius Rosenwald school and Mount Carmel AME Church, had sharecroppers and servants, and have a surprising connection to the Kennedy family. What was supposed to be a 25-50 page pamphlet to be given out at reunions about the family history, has become a historical account called Black Blue Bloods — Legacy of an African American Plantation Owner.


Finding Strength and Solace in a Tree

Evelyn Lawrence’s grandmother, Sallie, was a girl with a special connection to trees. In the 1840s, when she was just five years old, Sallie’s family was owned by a local man who needed money. In order to get it, he sold her mother and father to a landowner from Lynchburg, more than 150 miles away. Left alone, Sallie had the job of being the body servant for the man’s chronically ill wife. Sallie had no family member to go to for refuge and solace, so instead, she adopted a young oak tree as her family. She would go each day to the tree — to talk to it, to cry, to pray and to hug it in times of need.

Like the tree, Sallie had to weather many storms, and yet, she stood strong. She was determined that if she ever got her freedom and had children of her own that she would make sure they got an education, especially since it was against the law to teach a slave how to read or write. When freedom finally came and she later got married, she had 10 children of her own and sent two of them to college.

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