On December 31st, 1862, my paternal great-great-great grandparents Lydia and Oscar Higdon awaited freedom in Mississippi. They were in their twenties when freedom came.
A couple counties over in rural Mississippi, my maternal great-great-great grandmother Nancy was an eight year old girl. The man that would become her husband, E. McWilliams, was thirteen.
Other maternal great-great-great grandparents, Hannah and 'X', were in their late thirties. They were in Alabama when freedom came.
Another great-great-great-grandmother, Ash [Ishy] Battle was a thirteen year old girl in Alabama when freedom came - she had a son named Colvin [born in 1879 and was listed in the census as the youngest and only literate person in his household] who married a woman named Trudy [born in 1887], who had a daughter named Wyona [born in 1909], who married a man named Willie Clarence President Barnes [born in 1904], who had a daughter named Pearlie Mae [born in 1942 in Mound Bayou, MS] who married a man named Charles [born in Mound Bayou, MS in 1940], who moved north in the Great Migration in 1958 and had six children, one of which was my mother Sharon [born in Chicago in 1964], who had me.
May I never forget that I come from somewhere. May I never forget that in a time of cultural amnesia and the erasure of histories, knowing and telling one's story is a necessary and revolutionary act.
Peace and gratitude to those who did the heavy lifting.