Lynching in the United States

Monday, November 23, 2015

Black Wall Street

I’d come to Little Africa with Quincy for a better way of life.  He’d heard black folk there had established their own community free of white folk.  They had their own homes, banks, law offices, hotels, restaurants, grocery stores, schools, a hospital and transportation.  We’d been there some four years before the burning of our beloved community on June 1, 1921.

I remembers the day well, Quincy had gotten up early for work, he’d let me sleep in for the mere fact that I was with child and close to birthing.  It was somewhere around noon when I got the first birth pain.  It was my first baby.  Lucky for us we lived three doors down from one of the midwives that had delivered a good number of the babies born in our community between 1918 and 1921, she says the count was 57 live births that she can remember and my little angel was to be the 58th.  Miss Ella had sent her eldest boy, James Earl into town to fetch Quincy. 

The pain was something terrible.  I tried holding on so Quincy could be present for the birth of his first born.  But the sun was soon about to set and neither Quincy nor James Earl had returned.  It was just around that time; we heard what sound like planes flying over us and Miss Ella told me it’s time to push.  I cried out wanting to hold on just a little while longer for Quincy.  But, Ella demanded I push.  I let out my final push when Miss Ella announced it was a girl.  Just as she cut the cord, a group of white folk bust in the door shooting Ella right in the back of her head. While her lifeless body lay on top of me, I heard a white woman say no more niggers!  She ordered a young hoodlum no older than 14 years old to lynch that nigger baby with her own cord.  I cried out for Keziah – that’s what I would’ve named her after her great grandmother born a slave but died free. 

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