Re: An Open Letter / The State of Southern Black Folks / Robbed of Heritage
From: Owen Crosby [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Wednesday, July 09, 2008
I think about my Daddy…
How quiet he was…He only had a sixth grade education.. He quite school to help take care of his brothers and sisters.. He spoke so highly of ‘Dan’, a horse he used to farm the hard, red dirt of South Georgia for so many years, until a fire wiped out our barn, and half the house.
His last wish was that a memorial marker be placed next to his Gr. Grandfathers, a veteran of the 50th GA V. Inf…that marker being representative of a very young brother (Peter) who lost his life in Richmond, and is buried (two in a grave) in Oakwood.
Daddy literally amazed me with his humanitarian spirit.. He taught us to offer the same respect to people of all color…even though we were being taught in school that ‘southerners’..(us) HATED the black man.. What a contradiction to the world I was experiencing.. The business he ran had no Federally imposed Affirmative Action laws, yet I recall he had a very well composed cross section of workers along side him …far from the despicable picture often painted in today’s world media.
Most of all, his garden… He set me to ‘cut’ the garden when we moved in my senior year of high school…So while many of my associates and friends were trying out for baseball or football, I was pushing and old ‘wheel’ plow..
When that garden was at full bloom…with dozens of different apricot, plum, peach and assorted fruit trees…and always peas and greens.. It was the center of attention. The local paper stopped on occassion to take pictures..to see what Mr. Durwood was growing this year.
But…to many, he was characterized as a ‘cracker’…this man, every year, opened his garden up to many visitors..and for those who had meager coins..He charged them nothing..regardless of skin color.
It’s too hard to explain…
But H.K., you said it perfectly..
We were robbed.