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“Ma, I cant help but feel a little scared.”
“Baby there’s no reason to fear. If you’re thinking this power is evil; it is anything but. This is your birth right.”
“But everyone says that magic is bad. They say; it’s one of the ways the Devil leads us astray.”
“I know. But that is only from people who don’t understand it and don’t know where it comes from. If you’re still uneasy…. Do you think our creator would give us this much power, if it wasn’t his will?”
“I don’t know. I would hope not.”
“Sadie, I understand this is a lot to take in; but it’s your destiny. The women in our family have been blessed with these gifts since the beginning of creation. And as far back as your Great Gran can remember, they’ve never used their ‘gifts’ for anything but good.”
“That’s nice to know. But what about my father’s side?”
“That… I’m not too sure of. But as far as I know, their past is pretty squeaky clean.
“Do you think it would be okay for me to meet him?”
“Yeah it’s okay with me. The only problem is; you can’t let anyone else know he’s your father.”
“Sorry Ma. I just don’t see the big deal.”
“Well because your father is a dark skinned black man. Once they see you, they’re going to believe your father had some kind of dealings with a white woman; and what that usually means to the white folk, is he raped her. So I hope you see how that could be a problem for other people to know he’s your father.”
“Ma answer me one question..”
“If we’re as powerful as you say; how come white folks got so much control over us?”
“Baby, I wish I could give you an answer that you could accept. But all I can say is; we’re a spiritual people and we don’t do harm to others because it’s not how we do things. We also operate from a place of love because hate consumes you and that eventually makes you hollow.”
“That’s it? I thought you were going to tell me some big, juicy secret.”
“No, it’s no secret.”
“Well clearly, something needs to change.”
“Do you really think our people have been here all this time and we haven’t tried to change things?”
“Ma, you just said, we’re a culture who operates peacefully.”
“That’s what I said, but that isn’t the only history we’ve had. There are plenty others who have come before you, who have tried to do what you’re talking about; all have failed. What happens is, they’re usually killed before they’re able to make any real change.”
“Why didn’t any of our people do anything to stop it?!”
“See baby, the way you look at the world is completely different from how someone like me looks at it. It’s my own fault for sheltering you. I wanted to keep you protected but not naïve… to the way things really work.”
“And how is that Momma?”
“Baby all you need to know is; you’re black. Never lie to anyone about what you are; if you do, you stand the chance of getting hurt or possibly getting killed, because like I said whites don’t take too kindly to us….. Better yet, avoid the question all together, if you’re able.”
“It’s not far!”
“Baby, life’s not far. So what I need from you is your strength; you have to know the space you’re in could be invaded by whites at anytime. So I need you to be really agreeable and pleasant, because I need my baby to come home.” Sadie’s mom began to cry, at the thought of something possibly happening to her.
“Ma, I’m right here. Why are you crying?” Sadie looked at her mother, full of confusion.
“Baby, I’ve done the best I can. I just hope my best was good enough. There are some things I should have taught you; but didn’t, because I thought I could keep you away from the bad people.”
“Ma, you had to know you weren’t going to be able to protect me forever.”
“Just because I knew, doesn’t mean I wasn’t going to try.”
“Besides, why are you getting all emotional, now?”
“You want to go and see your father; don’t you?”
“Yeah… But what does one have to do with the other?”
“Well, let me put it to you like this; your father lives in the whitest state imaginable; where they tote guns, chewy tobacco, and have people who look like me and your father as slaves.”
“Is Daddy a slave?”
“Uhhh…. Yeah baby, he is.”
Sadie’s heart sunk at the thought. Even though she never met the man, it still pained her to know one of the two people who created her, was being held somewhere against his will and made to do things that were unimaginable to most. “Did you try to at least help him become free?!”
“Little girl, I don’t know who you yelling at, but you need to remember who you’re talking to.”
“Momma I can’t believe you really left him there to fend for himself.”
“It was his idea.”
“What do you mean? Didn’t he want to be free too?”
“Of course. But he was more concerned with me and you being free…” Sadie didn’t see the picture her mother was trying to paint. Partly because she had never known real struggle or discomfort in her whole 17 years on this earth; so her mother continued. “I’m sure you probably think leaving the plantation was as simple as walking off the property. I’m gonna let you know now; it was nothing like that. If you even thought about leaving, they had ways to make you reconsider.”
“What could they have done so terrible that would make a man sacrifice never seeing his family again?”
Her mother really didn’t want to say all the terrible things that were done to slaves who tried to run away in the past; but she figured by knowing the truth it would also help Sadie to realize the importance of doing things the ‘right way”.
“Baby, I never wanted you to know about me and your father’s life before you were born; but here it goes….
The reason your father isn’t here, is because he had to be the bait.”
“What do you mean?… Are you saying you purposely left him so you could get away?”
“Believe me, I didn’t want to, but I had too. There was no other way.”
“What do you mean; ‘There was no other way’?.. I can think of a couple.”
“Little girl, I already told you to simmer down. Next time I tell you, I’ma be whooping that a**!