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Over Troubled Water

Strengthening the relationships between all African ancestored descendants

Friday, July 1, 2011

AfricanAmericansWe come in all shades.     Image via WikipediaOne of the necessary things that we will need to do to strengthen our relationships as African ancestored people and in particular as African Americans is to identify the destructive behaviors which we were subjected to during slavery. What behaviors did we continue to act out upon each other for generations? Queen Sheba has come forward to identify the behaviors that were manifest in her life generations after slavery while they were trapped on a plantation in Sunflower, Mississippi until 1965. She has undergone the painful process of healing and wants to help others by acknowledging the hidden secrets. Some things should not remain a part of our legacy.

By Queen Sheba

Looking back on my life and thinking about what I went through to get love is very hard for me. I came into this world not alone but with a twin sister. I love my sister and always will. See I was very dark and had bad hair. My sister was light and had what they call “good hair.” It was not nappy. My mom said she would take us out, and people would always play with my sister and not me. She had to tell them, “If you cannot play with both of my kids, do not play with neither.”

In some ways it seems to me that she stepped over the line. I felt she was more for my sister than me. It seems like my sister could not do any wrong. I got blamed for everything. My sister would do things, and put them on me. She knew that they would believe her over me. She knew she had that kind of control over people and used it.

For some reason, I remember her cutting the curtain in my grandmother's living room, and she told them I did it. This hurt me because no one believed me. I know that I was going to get a beating, and I was very afraid of beatings. Once my sister and some other kids were out playing in the field trying to do what grownups did. I went and told. She came to the house and said that it was I. That's when I start pretending that something was wrong with me. I would just fall out rocking from side to side like I was having a fit. Everybody started paying attention to me acting like they cared. I did this because I did not want to get a beating. I do believe that was another reason my mom kind of picked my sister over me because of the way I would act.

She was very concerned about me, and took me to the doctor to find out what was wrong with me. One doctor. a black lady, told my mom that there was nothing wrong with me. She told my mother not to pay any attention to me, and that is what brought me out of it. How was I to tell them how much I was hurting inside when I was just a child?

This is a very bad thing to do to children. It makes them feel they are no good just because of the color of their skin. Most of my life I have been trying to make people like me anyway I could. I remember being treated like something was wrong with me, and I tried so hard to fix myself and could not. I would go around to people's houses and help them anyway I could to make somebody like me.  See Dark Girls.
There was a couple that lived next door to my grandparent's house that showed me a lot of love. They would give me things like food, candy and toys and let me sleep in bed with them. I knew the wife was sick all the time. I would help her around the house a lot.

I can still smell the sweat from her husband and feel his body over me when something happened one day that I did not want the candy, toys, food, and the kind of love they were giving me anymore. I lock it up inside and did not tell anyone. This was around the time that my mom had went to Florida. I was so glad she came back to get us. This couple tried to get my mom to let me stay with them but she would not. Thank you, Mom!

I have a first cousin that was very dark. At the time when I was a kid, she was the only one in the family so dark. Her mom acted like she hated her. Most of her kids were light, but this one was darker. She was treated like an outside child just because she was dark. Even today, she is not as close to the family as the rest of the kids. I have always through that she was so beautiful. She had nice smooth skin and pretty white teeth.

I remember another lady that had a baby from the boss man. This kid was almost white, but he had that one drop of black blood in him. This lady worshiped this child. He did not work in the fields. He stayed at home, and she treated her other kids like dogs and used to call them dogs.

Another sad day for me was when I started my period. No one told me anything, I was ashamed and somebody threw some rug at me. I cannot remember my sister being treated that way. It seemed that it was my fault, and I had done something bad. I was hated for that.

I remember one time we were playing in the yard. As we played baseball, we had a stick of stove wood for a bat. Somehow the stick came out of my hand and hit my brother. He was bleeding really bad. I did not mean to hit him. Everyone thought I did. Every grownup in the house that day beat me. It had to be around four of five grownups there that day.

People seemed to watch and know just what child that they could have their way with. They could see me coming for a mile because I had a sad look on my face. One of my cousins mistreated me. I remember we were in grandmother and granddad's bedroom, and he took advantage of me. I can still feel that pain inside of me down in my soul. I thought he was going to show me love not hurt me. This is another thing I did not tell anyone because I felt they would not believe me. I hated him and was so glad when they ran him out of town because of something he had did downtown to the white people.

When I got older I would go with boys just to get them to like me. They would use me and keep on going. I did not like me. How was I going to get out of my skin? I used to pretend I was someone else. I had pretty hair, my skin was white, and everyone liked me and wanted to be with me. Then I would wake up and look like a fool.

I hated myself. There was only one spot in my life that kept me going. That was my granddad. He would tell me that the way I acted and my kindness to people would take me a long way, and it did. However, people sometimes take kindness for weakness. How can you run from yourself? Wherever you go, there you are. I had to find away to get away from me. That alone is sick. As a young girl, I tried to escape through daydreaming and who ever would hold me in their arms to tell the truth. They could not comfort me. They only wanted one thing.

What social ills can you identify that need to be guarded against?
How can we protect the next generation?
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Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this deeply painful story. I was just sitting down to write a blog post about why we don't talk about the color bias among blacks. Your post goes even deeper and brings us face to face with other forms of abuse young children are subjected to. It's time to stop keeping these evils a secret. We'll never heal that way and millions of children will suffer if we continue to be silent.

With Empathy,

Sarah L. Webb

Saving Stories said...

Thank you so much for expressing your appreciation, Sarah. I am deeply appreciative to Queen Sheba for sharing her insights with us.

She knows firsthand the destructive behaviors that we learned in slavery which are still prevalent generations later.

It is very rewarding to read comments from readers. I agree that we need to start the dialog. I hope Over Troubled Water will help us take an honest look at ourselves and identify the things we can do to develop stronger relationships with one another.

Robin Foster
Over Troubled Water.

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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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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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