I learned about African American history from my parents, their brothers and sisters, also from my grandmothers. It was mind blowing to me what they went through. It was hard to absorb that kind of information at my early age. I will never forget the stories, now I understand. It touched my heart as well as fueled my fire to be best I can be. My grand parents where some of the strongest accomplished people I have ever known. I am 48. I was born in Savannah, Georgia. From a small Indian town off the river called Thunderbolt, Georgia. My parents and their parents we born in Lone Oak Georgia. 45 miles south of Atlanta, between Peachtree city and LaGrange Georgia. Capital-Greenville, Georgia. My African American grandparents connected with the Creek Indians to survive as farmers. As a kid I watched my great grandfather Willie Thompson plow miles of land with a mule. It was a sight to see. He was a very strong Black man. His history of survival as a black man was unbelievable. Our family owned thousands of acres of beautiful land in this area. They where producers of cows, pigs, fish, vegetables, fruit and pine trees. From those basic products my forefathers were self sufficient in their lives. My grandparents where also super creative people. Building and designing everything they owned. From wood products, iron products and medicines. To this day our family owns hundreds of acres of land in this Georgia area. My grandmother Mini Freeman was my greatest history lesson. She was a very strong Black women. She was educated, and had a strong belief in God. In her town, she was the first Black women to accomplish many things. Some of her accomplishments were impossible even for a Black man. She established political movements, schools, a church and organizations. To this day, they are still functioning. She always kept God first. There was one story she shared with me that will always be apart of my life and heart. My grandmother had a brother who was a pastor. He would organize gatherings with Blacks in the community. He would speak words of African American Unity and education. Local whites heard of these organized gatherings. In time,they found the leader, took him to the river, to be hanged. Never knew him, but I felt my grand mother’s pain. I know the senseless lose of her brother fueled her spiritual fire.
My father’s struggles and accomplishments will always be apart of my life’s journey. I was born August 4, 1965-the fourth child of the family during the height of the civil rights revolution. Later in life my father told me horror stories of racial discrimination but heart warming stories of Black Unity. My father was a young, working hard towards a simple life for his family. My father was the first Black man to break new ground during challenging times in Savannah-Thunderbolt Ga. He was the first Black man to start his own auto mechanic business in Thunderbolt, Georgia. He was also the first Black foreman-manager to oversee the auto service department with the city of Savannah. My father had a gift to fix anything with an engine. He also had a heart of gold, never bitter, always giving and helping. Through harsh racial discrimination, my father moved forward and created a strong foundation for his family. I learned my father was a very proud Black man.I can go on with wonderful Black history stories, but will save some for later. I love my roots, culture and spirit. Our journey continues. Thank you all. Take care,