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Over Troubled Water

Strengthening the relationships between all African ancestored descendants

Friday, July 22, 2011


The following is an excerpt from Sheba's childhood experience in Homestead and Florida City, Florida. A few years prior to her arrival, an article appeared in the March 2, 1961 edition of The Miami News entitled Migrants Back in Hovels. The article mentions the sanitation inspector, Samuel Fields who had inspected 11 different labor camps.

He called the plight of the migrant worker pathetic stemming from the over-crowding brought on by “A new racket worked by the crew leaders who led migrants around the country to various harvesting jobs.” See Migrants Back in Hovels. This article reveals the plight of generations descendants of former slaves. There labor was a commodity still, and still little thought was given to helping them overcome the effects of many years of being enslaved.

Hovels of Hatred in Homestead and Florida City
By Queen Sheba

We came to in 1965, South Florida on a migrant worker bus, the same bus that would take us to the field to pick tomatoes, beans, or limes in the grove for the next three to four years. When my mom took us from Mississippi to Florida, my life was in for a big change not only in the type of work we did but also in how I really got to see how black people hate each other.

Homestead and Florida City, Florida were cutthroat places where black people killed each other on a daily basis. On the weekend, the killing seem to double. When we would go to work, there were always some drunks on the bus and working the field. They would make just the money made to keep the wine flowing.

When I look back, I can see these men were carrying heavy burdens, and the only release they got was through drinking. Some of them had to leave their whole family knowing they would never see them again, and some had to do whatever they could to get away from Mississippi and other places. Lots of these men and some women I never got to know because they just would not talk. Most of them went to their graves with this pain never to let it go.

One time, a lady that lived in front of us had a man that used to come to her house when her husband was not at home. He had told this man to stay away from his house. One day he came home and this man was walking out of his house with a slice of bread in his mouth. He killed him right there with that bread in his mouth. I saw this and they let that man lay there all night.

They did not care that the little black kids were looking at or listening to this, and this has stayed with me all my life. This is something that came from slavery when the kids had to watch all kinds of hanging, burning, lynching designed to keep them in line. Black people in Homestead never thought about what this would do to a child's mind and did not care.

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With the blessings of technology, all African ancestored descendants can develop an online haven where healing can take place. Let's recite and relish in our history. Let's come together to identify the principles that help us to enjoy freedom and happiness. Hopefully, "Over Troubled Water" will be the beginning of that for you. We welcome contributors who will share their history and perspectives that we may all learn and benefit.
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"I believe that all men, black and brown and white, are brothers, varying in time and opportunity, in form and gift and feature, but differing in no essential particular, and alike in soul and the possibility of infinite development." --W.E.B. Dubois
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Over Troubled Water by Robin R. Foster is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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The village is coming together! We are from many diverse groups from around the world. We invite you to use Over Trouble Water as an avenue that will spark much needed dialog. This dialog can lead to great enlightenment and healing. Every effort will be made to supplement using historical resources for further study, however, opinions or views expressed in articles reflect the contributor's life experiences and are the responsibility of the respective contributor. Comments should be addressed to the respective contributor.

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