Good Evening Everyone! I hope everyone is doing well. I’m back with another Black History post and this time, I’m going to share a poem. But not just any poem. Tonight’s poem was written from the perspective of a female slave.
For those of you who have followed my blog for some time, I discussed in the past about wet nursing during slavery. If you aren’t familiar with wet nursing during slavery, it’s when a nursing / pregnant female slave is forced to breastfeed the child of her slave owners.
This was a cruel practice because many times, the female slave’s child or children went hungry. Some babies actually starved to death because the slave owners prohibited the female slave to share her milk with her own child. Why? Because it would leave less milk for the slave “owners” child to nurse on. I find that to be unbelievably ridiculous and cruel seeing how that child’s own mother should have been breastfeeding them.
The poem by Hess Love is touching in so many ways because it shows what many nursing / pregnant female slaves must have felt. Imagine having to watch your child cry from hunger while you breastfed your “owners” child or children first. Breastfeeding your child first was never a priority, only your “owners” children. If you did, you risked being severely punished or having your child killed / murdered.
As you read the poem below by Hess Love, try to read it from a female slave’s perspective because when you do, her words don’t seem so harsh. It really gives you something to think about.
Hello again everyone! I hope that each of you are doing well. I know that I haven’t been posting on my blog regularly, but I will be soon. I’m almost done settling in my new city. Woo hoo! Now that we got that out of the way, let’s get to it. This is going to be a fairly long post.
Can you imagine a time where babies were used as bait? It’s kind of hard to imagine something so heinous and cruel, right? What if I told you Black babies were used as alligator bait here in the United States? Would that shock you?
This troubling dark history has been tucked away and rarely discussed because of its long and disturbing history. The reasoning behind the use of Black babies as alligator bait is not only racist and cruel, but it’s stupid too.
Made popular in the state of Florida, Black babies were used as bait because these racists believed that Black babies couldn’t feel pain. Adding to that, they believed alligators were attracted to their dark skin and smell. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, racists are imbeciles.
These crying babies were sometimes dangled from hooks or placed in shallow alligator infested waters. The crying and flailing of the babies would cause the alligators to come which would then allow the alligator hunters to shoot them. Some alligator hunters wouldn’t shoot the alligator until it had the baby in it’s jaws. Why? Because these cretinous racists believed that Black babies skin was so tough it could withstand alligator bites.
Some unfortunate babies lost limbs and some were even killed by alligators. For the mothers of these babies who were taken against their will, they were sometimes paid with alligator bait by these alligator hunters. Why? To make the unauthorized snatching of their babies seem less cruel. Not only that, some would blatantly lie to newspapers that the mothers “rented” their babies as bait. C’mon now. You can’t make this type of stuff up.
There are caricatures, post cards, newspaper clippings and the like mocking this cruel and unsettling practice. I fail to see the humor in such a vicious and disturbing practice. If you find humor in this, something is seriously wrong with you. Seek help immediately.
With Black History Month just around the corner, I’m just getting started. More rarely known stories to come.
Good Evening Good People! I hope that everyone is doing well. Quite a bit has happened since my last post, but for the most part, it has been good. Grateful and thankful for that.
I was offered another job a few states away and I’m trying to get settled. Moving is always hectic but when you are moving by yourself, it’s cha-cha-chaotic! Adding to that, my writing had to be put on hold because I’m still trying to get situated and settled. It’s been two weeks already, sheesh!
I can’t wait to get back to my writing but first, I have to work on my swollen feet. Running up and down my stairs to move and driving for hours a few states away has taken a toll on my little feet. My feet ain’t NEVA been this swollen…
This writer hopes to be back in another month with some more good news so stay tuned.
Whatever it is you are aspiring to do, I sincerely hope that it happens for you.
I am about to embark on something that will challenge me as a person and as a writer. It will take me to new depths, depths that I am a little hesitant to travel. Am I nervous or afraid? A little. Will such feelings stop me from doing what I am about to do? Not a chance.
If the end result will help others, then what I am about to do will be worth it. Sometimes we have to do things that are a little outside of our comfort zone to help others. For me, that includes my writings.
This next piece of written work is going to take a lot out of me. I will see you back here in a few months.
I was looking for some quirky inspirational drawings and I stumbled across three I liked. These are guaranteed to make you smile and I wanted to share them with my fellow aspiring writers and bookworms. 🤗
Kudos to the the creative minds behind these. 😉 Now that’s what I call creative inspiration.
Born in 1920, Hazel Scott was a Trinidadian classical and jazz singer, actress and pianist. She was considered a musical prodigy at a very early age due to her musical abilities. Most notably, her rare ability to play two pianos at once. In fact, she was the first to do it.
Hazel was given scholarships by Juliard at an early age because she was extremely talented and gifted. This was unusual and unheard of because prestigious scholarships were not offered to Black people at that time.
Because so many people were obsessed with Hazel and her musical abilities, she was given her own show, The Hazel Scott Show. Hazel was the first Black person to have her own television show.
Hazel was big on civil rights and equality and she did not allow racist or prejudiced Whites to control her. Hazel controlled her own wardrobe, insisted on final cut privileges before she would perform and she refused to play live for segregated audiences. Her defiance and stance made her a force to be reckoned with because she also refused to play stereotypical roles.
One aspect of Hazel’s life that I did not know was that she was married to the late Adam Clayton Powell Jr., a man who needs no introduction. As a Black man, Adam too played a pivotal role in fighting for civil rights and equal rights for Black people. Their son, Adam Clayton Powell III, is the only child from their marriage.
I can go on and on about Hazel Scott because I found her to be intriguing, but I want you to take some time to read more about her on your own time. If you watched this year’s Grammy’s, Alicia Keys payed homage to her and did an amazing job.
To see a brief clip of Hazel in action, click here.
Invisible Man, published in 1952, is an award winning novel by the late Ralph Ellison. It touched on personal identity, individuality and the Black experience.
I personally found this novel to be both deep and telling. I could relate to some of the things he wrote about because I’m Black and I know how it feels to be “invisible” at times. Invisible in the sense where I’ve been purposefully overlooked or left out due to my color. Such experiences happened while at work and yet, they think I don’t notice. I notice it, but I must confess, I’m used to it. The majority of Black people are.
Since I’m an observer and thinker by nature, I would like to hear thoughts from those who also read this amazing novel. Regardless of your race or racial background, I would like to know what were your thoughts on Invisible Man. I enjoy hearing other people’s opinions and point of views. As always, if you are too shy to leave your comment, you can always shoot me an email.
If you have never read Invisible Man, you should. There is a reason why it won the National Book Award.