Monday, November 25, 2013

12 Years A Slave: Pain And Survival

This past weekend I finally went to see 12 Years A Slave. I tried to prepare myself for what I had heard about the movie. There was no way that I could prepare for this..I cried though most of the movie and almost walked out a few times. I felt an overwhelming grief and sadness. As I continued to sit there watching, I thought that maybe I should have just stayed home. This was painful..there was no way around that. I felt numb walking out of the movie husband and I rode home in silence. The words would not come. It took a while to come back to reality. I just had to pen this blog, had to get out what I couldn't speak about. All during the movie, I kept thinking to myself that I cannot believe that this was once a reality of the life of my ancestors. THIS really happened? Yes, I know that it did. It was just so painful and horrific, It seemed unreal.

Solomon Northrup... His story, his determination, not to just live, but to survive was Amazing. I thought about the many that were kidnapped and never reunited with their family. Our ancestor's, how strong they must have been to survive slavery. They endured so much...painful as it is, this is a real part of history that must be told.

I thought about my ancestors, about my 2x Great Grandmother, Sarah Doyle. I could see her in the movie. She came to the plantation as a child and later became a house slave, a cook, and had several children by her owner. Sarah's cabin would have been the one closest to the plantation house. She tended to Mrs. Lee, the slave owner's wife. How terrible that it must have been to be hated and mistreated by the mistress because her husband, the slave owner, took advantage of his slave..over, and over again.

As my daughter and I talked about the movie, I shared my thoughts with her. Although I want my grandsons, who are 6, 8 and 10 to know their history. And my 10 year old grandson is extremely interested in history, always asking questions. He reminds me of myself. Yes, he would love to see this movie. I just don't think he needs to see this movie now. It  can wait. Since neither of my children seem to be interested in their family history. I realize that I am the one. The one chosen to tell the stories of my ancestors to my grandchildren. The same as my grandmother shared the stories with me.

I am the daughter of my ancestors..I am here because they survived. Their stories must be told. They live on in me and will continue to live in the generations to come.


© 2013 Denise Muhammad

1 comment:

  1. My Sentiments Exactly. We can find some solace on keeping them Alive. Thanks for sharing your Experience. I'm still trying to find the words.


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