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“Dear Anna Mae,”
How has it been out there in those cotton fields? Massa has still been beating us like we were slaves. Even though we are slaves I still like to imagine that we aren’t. They took Mobutoo (Arnold) and sole him to some ol white woman across the state. I been taking some secret classes on typin and talkin like wese supposed to. Anna Mae, When I escape this hell I’m coming fo you and we gone start our life ovah. First Step: Getting out of this damn slavery.
Love Big Sis,
My sister has always been the one that made all the decisions in our household. I could never imagine her as no slave or even being taken away from me. I told massa if he sent my sister away I would never work again. That plan don’t work to well when you got a medal whip goin across yo back. They took me my sister and my son away from our homeland and made us work. They been tryin to take me down emotionally since day one, the changed my sons name to Arnold and took him and my sister away. How much can a black woman take? I promised my sister and myself that when we escape we gone be just like dem white women. Long dresses and acres and acres of land, nobody will be able to stop us. But until I get off this plantation it’s just the art of planning and prayin. I know that god is real and everything he told me that he would do, he has already done I just cant see it yet.
It seem like this cotton out here getting harder to pick everyday knowing that we almost ready to escape. I sho do miss mama and daddy but they wouldn’t want us to be in slavery all our lives so we must escape. That massa den beat me to many times, I’m bout ready to ring his neck like I do the wet mop before I clean up fo suppah. I been goin to church, the lord has really blessed me. I hope everythings goin swell with you. I love you sister.
I would go to church but massa told me that if I even tried to make a move off of this plantation he would take off my legs. I believe him 100%. I’ve watched him kill people as close to him as his mother and make one of us mop up the blood. It don’t make no since how can a man have so much pain in his heart to kill his own mother? If it wasn’t for her he wouldnt have anything, not even the heart beating in his body. It feel like the sun getting hotter and hotter everyday and nothing can pass the time like a good walk up and down the plantation, since that’s the only place I can go anyway. I don’t know why he pays so much attention to me, maybe its because he see’s potential me that he doesn’t see in the others. The others keep telling me if anyone can make it out of slavery it would be me. I promised them that they would also be free as soon as I get my life up and runnin, if they aint dead by dat time. If the slaves wasn’t so scared we could’ve been took out massa but they to terrified down to they aching bones to even look at him. I’m the only one aint scarred of no ol white man. I can look him is his eye and lie like there is no tomorrow, as a slave you don’t know if there is a tomorrow or not. Sometimes me and Muhammad (George) take turns with the cotton field shifts and make the day go by much faster. I think I’m startin to fall in love with George he is a nice man, he was originally from the LingLing Tribe in West Africa. I cant believe I had never seen him at any melting pot diffusion ceremonies but I found now and he keeps me strong and I show the same towards him.
“Dear Anna Mae,”
Massa caught me reading one of the letter s you wrote me but he aint pay it no mind he still think I cant read and laughed when he thought I was trying to. I told him one day he would regret laughing at me but it doesn’t matter anyway by time we escape he gone be dead because hi wife might be all bright on the outside but on the inside she hate him just as much as the slaves do. She so anti-slavery it doesn’t make any since how they can be married at all. She give us time off work when he go out to the slave market every third Sunday. We sho do look forward to him leaving, he gone for about 3 days so we don’t do that much work. She told us she would give us all the days off but if no cotton was bein harvested he would blow a head gasket. We understand though, we take that time to sing songs from our tribes and learn from his wife, she a nice lady, I feel bad though massa made her put her folks in a home when they didn’t deserve that kind of treatment. Even though they white they get treated just like is on that home it don’t make no since. I still don’t understand how you can treat your family like that, I know if I had my family I would not treat them like that. In my house my family would be royalty, I guess white people just don’t thin k like that. They wouldn’t make it a day back in Africa, it’s sad they thin k they are superior but there not it’s funny. I miss you sister we will be together soon.
I got a letter from “Arnold” he told me that he got some young slave pregnant. It’s a shame I don’t even know how old my boy is now. Im sure he as grown a lot since the last time I’ve seen him, I’d like to believe that he wasn’t a slave anymore but I cant. I would’ve been went and got my boy but he so far away, ay slave would know that you never cross another plantation.
I ‘m so sorry, the reason I’m telling you I’m sorry is because I’m not a slave anymore. I refuse to come get you because I would have to buy you and I don’t have that time of money. My wife and I are free and preparing for baby Arnold. To bad you wont be able to se e your grandson but I cant help that at all. I would tell you I love you but it’s hard to love someone you haven’t seen in y7 years, In a strange way I feel neglected by my own mother nothing is worst than that. But when life gives you cotton you pick it and I pick to leave you and the rest of my past behind and move on with mu life.
In respect for you I have decided to call you Arnold now even though that wasn’t the name you were born with. It’s a shame that you have forgotten your African heritage and turned yo self into one of dem white folk. Nothing makes my stomach turn more than a black man trying to fit in by being white. Why don’t you love your mother Arnold? How can you keep a grandmother away from her grandchild that is the most selfish thing anyone has ever done, it’s even worst then the people taking us for slavery. Not only have you claimed the slave name but you have let them change your brain into believing that I abandoned you. You don’t know how many time I’ve tried to come get you, or to have someone else get you for me. Do you know how old your mother is? Arnold, I am 49 years old, I cannot make it all the way where your plantation was. Since you’ve decided to move on without your mama I’m perfectly fine, I’m just letting you this is more pain on me than any whip could do. Remember Arnold I love you and even if you don’t love me, you will always be my little Mobutoo.
I never thought my own son would betray me in such a harmful way t o my mind and my soul. A mother’s tuition is the most important thing in a child’s life and if he doesn’t want to take it well to bad. If you notice I have been writing and typing much better. Can you believe that Massa is on his deathbed, meaning that if no one comes to claim us we are free until recaptured. I can’t wait to start my life over with my sister and George. He has really been there for me lately since he heard how Arnold felt about me. I told myself if I ever saw Arnold around town I would take him out just like I brought him in and it wont be difficult. I’ve just learned how to dress appropriately for occasions with Massa’s Wife. I don’t know how he became so sick so fast; his wife probably had something to do with it.
“Dear Anna Mae”
I’m counting the days until I can be free and come get you. I cant write much this time, I am learning as much as I can from Massa’s wife and it takes a lot of my time. She told me if I’m gone be a free black woman I have to be as perfect and smart as any white woman.
“Dear Anna Mae,”
It’s only a few more days until Massa gone be gone, the doctor gave him a week and its been 5 days. I truly do believe he had a heart but that’s not up to me to decide where his fate lies. You haven’t been writing me back lately, I hope you all right. Love you.
Girl I’ve been trying to reach you for the past 2 days, what’s up why you been ignoring me? You seem to be scared to write me back or something, I hope your okay.
The massa funeral just ended, I’m about to start my journey to the North and along the way I will get my sister Anna Mae. She’s going to be so surprised since she hasn’t been writing me back to set up anything. I’m going to march myself right up to that slave massa and tell him I want my sister. Massa is one word that I have not let go through the years; it doesn’t matter though in a minute I wont have to hear that word ever again.
Peach’s was killed on her journey to the North. They shot her dead right there on the pavement. Little did she know Anna Mae had already died and was buried at the bottom of the river. Arnold still lived in the South with his wife and 12 children and doesn’t even know that his mother is now dead. I guess every story doesn’t have a happy ending but it sure does teach you a lesson, that you can do anything that you put your mind to even if you don’t make it all the way you still made it somewhere and that’s enough to be anyone’s hero.