There was a point in time in our history when it was illegal for a black person to read. But, more importantly there was a point in time in our history when it was illegal for a black person to write. Thankfully this is no more. Because of the death of many, many have the opportunity to read and write daily. I, myself have amassed a great library of books, which for much of my life I was ashamed. That is until I saw the library of Billy Graham. I am now reading a book supported and sponsored by The Federal Writers’ Project. This project provided unemployed writers with work during the Great Depression. When I was a slave is a little book of slave narratives written in first person as mini memoirs. Due to the insight of our government the first person perspective of the enslaved is not lost but recorded in volumes that line the Library of Congress in Washing D. C.. These slave narratives line the book racks of the battlefields of blood in the heart of Tennessee. I believe the complete story has been told but not read. The Federal Writers’ Project reminds me of The Ferguson Fellowship, which is now funded for one year! It is so very exciting to see and know the work of the written word is supported at least somewhere in these United States of America. Eight stories have been written thus far by Mariah Stewart and one of Mariah’s top supporter is a white man.
The truth of the matter is, if not for the white man who risk life and limb. Black men would not know how to read and write.
What is lost, however is our desire and our ability to read. It saddens my soul to think little hand-held devices have replaced our delight in the written word. The day I stepped into the Billy Graham library and saw all the books this one man read was the day everything in me changed. All of our presidents have personal libraries, where people may go and see the volumes of what they have read. I wonder what will become of the personal library of the common every day man?
Please know I view my writing as mini sermons and the preacher in me does not solicit comments, but you can catch me, every now and again on my Personal Face Book Page and my Face Book Fire Station Page.