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January 21, 2009



What a beautiful post, QP. I too can remember those water fountains--and those racial expressions that I did not even realize were wrong till I was in my teens.
Thank you for this powerful reminder. What a day!


Thanks, Parson. I remember the dual water fountains at Kroger and JC Penney. I remember my friend's Dad casually rolling down the window seeking driving directions and shouting to get the attention of a middle-aged black man, "Boy!"

I have even closer "genealogical" proximity to slavery days: my mother's father is listed as a baby on the 1860 US Census.

A short genealogical story from faulty memory, so don't count on perfect accuracy:

Many years ago, while working on genealogy I found a late 1700s record of a pre-teen slave girl being given to one of my ancestors, Mary Penn, at the occasion of her marriage when she and her new husband, Absolem Stinchcomb, moved from Virginia to Georgia. Much later I ran across a notation in the margins of a late-1800s census record of a black woman, Charity Stinchcomb, aged 113. Charity told the census-taker that she had been taken away from her family in Virginia at seven or so and sent to Georgia with new "owners". That tie of the every-day, casual horrors of slavery to my own family has haunted me.

I shed tears of joy as I watched the inauguration, and a few of those happy tears were in memory of that little girl/old woman.

Andrew C. Thompson

That's a wonderful reflection. Thanks for sharing it, QP.

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