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As the Winds Blew Past

Author's note:

I wrote this piece keeping in mind the conditions of race relations in this country.

Author's note:

I wrote this piece keeping in mind the conditions of race relations in this country.

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Chapters:   « Previous 1 ... 10 11 12

Chapter 12

As The Louisiana sun began to fade, so did my life as a slave. They sky displayed streaks of purple and orange, like paint on a canvas. I was sitting on the old rocking chair, staring at that old sycamore tree. There was a rapid knocking on the door. I closed my eyes, preparing for the worst. If it was Hill on the other side, I was a dead man. I grasped the knob and pulled bracing myself for what was to come. It was Flint. I greeted him. “Good afternoon, master. What is it that I need to do?” “It’s not what you can do for me, but I can do for you, Isaac.” he replied. “You have served my grandmother and myself loyally. I thank you for that deeply. You and the other slaves have become like a family to me, a family truer to me than my own. I have decided to sell the plantation. I have no need for this big of a parcel of land, and I have no need for the services of a slave.” He took my hand, and placed a paper in to my palms, and closed my finger in to a fist around it. “Isaac Flint, I, Elijah Flint, grant you your freedom. You are free. God bless you.” And just like that he shook my hand and walked away. Tears cascaded down my cheeks. For the first time in year, they were tears of joy. No longer was I Isaac Flint. I was a free man. I spent years on that old rocking chair dreaming of how sweet this moment would be. Never in my dreams, did I imagine looking down on a paper that read, “Isaac Flint is a free man.” No dream of mine captured its true sweetness.
My narrative has finally reached its end. Slavery is an institution that changed the lives of millions, from the Red River of Louisiana to the mountains of Tennessee. I had toiled away for years on that old plantation. It was finally time to move on. I packed my clothes in a carpet bag, and set my sight on the horizon. Now, my readers can believe me or not, but I swear, I never once looked back. I had my sights set on Cahokia, Illinois. After thirty-six years I was coming home at last. I caught the last train going to Illinois. Not in all the years of my life that I spent there, did I ever lose hope. I knew that one day everything would change, for better or for worse. The train passed by the Ohio River, which I could see just faintly in the distance. I travelled by carriage the rest of the way, from the train station. There, my family home still stood. I soon after found out from the neighbors that both my parents had passed away ten years ago, just months apart. I was depressed, of course when I heard the news, but I knew they were happy. I lived my life how I wanted to, from there that moment on. I was free, at last.
I vowed to live a noble life, and therefore dedicated my life to the cause of abolition. It was my duty as a black man to free my fellow brothers and sisters. That is also the reason, when the Civil War eventually came to be, I knew what the right thing to do was. I enlisted in the Union army of the United States of America. It was my moral obligation and civic duty to my country and my people. Men and women like John Brown and Harriet Tubman both risked their lives for the greater good, for what was right under the eyes of god. My freedom would mean nothing, if I would have to live my life in bliss, as others would slowly die working on the fields. It was not in my blood to live in bliss. I was meant for something. I knew in my heart, that if I would die, I would die, not only free, but fighting for the rights of others. This to me was worth dying a thousand deaths. When the recruiting officer asked me, “Why do you want to fight in the Union army? You’re a free man now. You are not obligated to fight.” I answered, “But I am, sir.” He asked, “Why?” I just simply answered, “I want to fight for freedom.” “Good answer.”

Chapters:   « Previous 1 ... 10 11 12


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