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Black People : BLACK LOVE STORIES THAT TRANSCEND BONDS OF SLAVERY, TIME...

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by Aqil, Feb 15, 2005.

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    Aqil

    Aqil Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    By Donna Britt
    Washington Post

    The love stories recounted in author Betty DeRamus's new book, Forbidden Fruit: Love Stories From the Underground Railroad, are more than a century old. But they still have the power to make listeners' hearts race, break - or sing...

    There's the one about John Little, a North Carolina-born runaway slave whose whip-scarred back was a spider's web of welted flesh - and who carried his ailing wife atop it during their flight to freedom.

    There's Lear Green's story, too. The 18-year-old runaway was "round-featured" and "good-looking," according to the 1857 Baltimore Sun ad offering $150 for her return. Owned by a Fells Point businessman, Green got herself packed into a wooden chest and spent 18 hours inside it as she was shipped north by steamer to meet her fiance, an escaped barber.

    Then there's the story of James and Fanny Smith, a Dickensian tale of beatings, imprisonment, remorse - but most of all, faith.
    James Smith's faith in God wasn't the "puny, soft-fleshed" type of those whose belief is the equivalent of a Sunday morning stroll, DeRamus writes. Smith's faith was muscular enough to fortify him for two decades after he shambled away from his family in chains.

    Each night after his labors, the born-again Richmond-area slave preached the gospel to fellow slaves, even after his master whipped him for it. Sold away from Fanny and his two children to a slavetrader for refusing to stop worshiping with other bondsmen, Smith was purchased by a Georgia cotton grower who ordered his overseer to administer a 100-lash beating to discourage the slave's stubborn prayerfulness.

    When the overseer later overheard Smith praying for his soul, he begged Smith's forgiveness - and promised not to recapture him if he escaped. So Smith ran back to Virginia, where he learned his wife had been sold. It took 22 years of jailings, beatings, searching and, yes, praying before he found Fanny in Canada, where she had fled.

    What would today's youngsters make of loves as determined as Smith's and Green's? What would they think of Little's reaction when he and his still-frail wife encountered a deep river after three months traveling? Strapping their shared belongings onto his wife's back, Little placed her atop a log and swam, stroking the water with one arm, balancing and guiding her with the other.

    Such effort, sacrifice and risk in the name of love seem hard to fathom in a era in which "romance has almost fallen into disrepute," DeRamus says. "Youngsters today think it makes you a punk.

    "I defy anybody to call John Little a punk."

    You can read the rest of this fascinating article at:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A15688-2005Feb10?language=printer
     
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    Aqil

    Aqil Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Here is a different kind of slave love affair:

    THE MEMPHIS COMMERCIAL APPEAL
    January 14, 1922

    Interracial Love Affair Ended By Lynching of Man

    FLORENCE, SC – One negro was killed and another wounded Sunday by a mob of white citizens in the Black River section of Williamsburg County. The dead man is accused of having been intimate with a white woman.

    The wounded negro was driving a buggy into which the other man had leaped in an attempt to elude the mob. Letters from the white woman were found in the pocket of the dead man after the lynching. One of them reads as follows:

    “Dearest Ed:

    I thought of you all during the show last night, and wanted you with me. It is too bad that we cannot be together always. My love for you is greater than you can imagine. Sometimes I become so disgusted with conditions in Florence that I want to leave and go some place where people are sensible, where I can at least walk the streets with you in the daytime without danger and fear.

    You often impress on me the fact that you are colored and can’t take any chances. I know that, darling, but love is greater than color in my case, and we must do the best we can until both of us are in position to leave Florence.

    I suppose you got the package I sent by mail to the barbershop for you. I have to be careful in buying things downtown because my little niece goes along with me and is so nosey. I had a beautiful shirt for you, but had to give it to my cousin because my niece saw me purchase it.

    Be a good boy and don’t forget tomorrow.

    Yours,
    ‘DEVOTED’”


    After learning of the lynching the woman spent Sunday night in the swamps, crossing over the county line to Kingstree on Monday to seek the protection of the sheriff there.

    (100 YEARS OF LYNCHINGS, Ralph Ginzburg, Black Classic Press, 1962, 1988)
     
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    Aqil

    Aqil Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    From the article:

    "African-American romantics are hard-pressed to watch many black-oriented movies and music videos without wincing. These tired, relentless images of bouncing booties suggest that bodies now trump souls; friction has overruled fusion; and rawness has supplanted romance. In fact, true love manages to blossom in the least life-affirming conditions..."
     
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    PurpleMoons

    PurpleMoons Administrator STAFF

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    That is a beautiful piece of history here. Today love is based on those fairytale books, Like cinderella, snowwhite, sleeping beauty. Parents would buy and read these fairytale editions to their children. Instilling in them that prince charming will come for them too. Many children ended up meeting prince darksoul instead and they think that love has brought them together. The meaning of love has changed for our youths today. Now they think love is when a man says he love you and they are so willing to give up the jewels. They learn fast that love isn't that simple. Many don't know what to love someone really is. They think it's sex.

    I remember hearing a story of an interracial couple. The women was a school teacher. She was in love with this black man. Their was a White man that was trying to presue her. He was a well respected man in his community and was on his way up the political ladder. He knew she was in love with the black man. When this women rejected him, he tried to rape her and the Black man came in and beat the hell out of him. He then was on the run. The white women was supposed to meet up with him and together they were going to leave. While she was preparing, she heard them preparing the hunt of her love. She raced out to warn him but it was too late. They had murdered him. The only difference in this story from the one here is, when she saw her loved one brutally slaughtered, she then turned and killed herself.

    It so sad how the meaning of love has been distaughted. Many will never know the true essence of love, but they believe they had found it.

    Thanks for the post on Black love Brother Aqil!!! When love meant more then just penetration.
     
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    Aqil

    Aqil Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    You're quite welcome, Purple...and you're right...during those times love was a means of survival...
     
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    cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Thank you for sharing this!


    As much as slavery took from us, the stories of slaves whose love transcended their bondage and risk of life never fails to move my heart.
     
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