Making Our Way in the New World
Note: As a white guy am I allowed to write this? I'm not sure I'm allowed to write this.
My name is Sam Smith, I don't know what my real family name was. I was born into slavery, my parents came here on the boat.
I am disgruntled. I don't enjoy my work. I don't like my boss. I don't like my living conditions. I want to quit.
I'm here with Margaret Smith, the love of my life, but she's with another man. She's pregnant by another man. John. She doesn't care for it here either. Nobody does.
So I think we should quit. I think all of us want to quit.
We start talking. We realize we have enough man power we could easily overpower the Smith family.
We start planning. One day we're just going to drop our tools, walk up to the plantation, kill the whole family and burn the place to the ground.
We're really going to do this. We're all very enthused. The moment it turns twelve noon we all simultaneously drop our tools and walk up to the mansion. Everett Smith walks out with a shotgun but he don't have enough time to kill us all. I'm afraid he does kill one of us, though. Daniel, good man, died doing the right thing. We assumed we wouldn't all make it out of this.
We overpower him, I take his gun and blow his racist fucking head off. We go in the house. We kill the teenage son. One of our men rapes the wife before we put an end to her. We leave the little girl. We're not monsters.
And that was it. I guess now we just... Leave.
Margaret had the baby today. It was beautiful. A beautiful baby girl.
John wasn't as enthused as he should have been. Seemed a little rattled. A little frightened. I would have been excited. I would have stepped up. I would have been a better father.
She gave her a beautiful African name. She named her Njinga.
I've taken to the drink and it bothers a lot of people. I have a lot of hurt to cover. We all do but I'm the only one who's dealing with it.
But when I drink I can get rowdy and violent and sometimes somebody has to put me down. Today I'm mad at John. I know enough in my drunken state that I shouldn't be telling him I'm after his woman, but my irritation with him still comes out. I'm telling him "You need to stop being afraid of that baby! You're a father now! You're a man now! The baby needs you!" "I need her too! I'm working on it I'll be fine! Let me live my life and you live yours!" "Asshole..."
Margaret tells me to leave him alone. She says "Don't be going near my family when you're on the drink..." "As you wish."
Then we start doing what we need to do for our brothers. We round up all the other slaves in the area and we put down their masters.
Our ranks grow and we become a real movement. We're really going to do this. We're going to free our brothers and we're all going to go home.
We're 100 strong now and we're starting to attract attention. Bad attention. I worry.
But any time you get a group of this number you're going to end up with at least one evil person. One man decides in the middle of the night that he wants to kill a baby and sneak off into the night. Luckily I sleep with one eye open. He approached where Njinga slept and crept over her. I knew he wasn't doing anything nice. I take a big fat branch and knock him over the head with it. He falls unconscious and I keep hitting him until there was nothing left to hit. We don't need that in our camp.
Margaret wakes up in a panic. I tell her not to worry everything is okay now, still drunk from earlier. I tell her I would do anything for her and when she's with me she's always safe. John isn't pleased but he's a coward.
The next morning a man approaches me. He tells me his parents were from the Bwiti tribe. His mother smuggled something when they were taken from Africa. Told him to take it and that he would know who to give it to and when. He gives it to me. Calls it iboga. Tells me to eat it.
So I eat it. Awhile later things are... Not normal. I see colours. I see things that aren't there. I feel like... I feel like I'm in the spirit world. I feel like God is validating me and everything I've done. The heavens shine down on me. I know I'm doing the right thing but I know in the end nothing will matter.
I come to a revelation that we are no longer our African ancestors. We are something new. We have been taken by the white man and turned into something else. One day we will have to forge a new culture because our own may well be lost forever.
I feel like I understand.
And then eventually I'm back to normal.
And that was the end. The white man comes and puts us down. A bunch of soldiers come. They have muskets. We have a few guns but they have more.
They don't slaughter all of us, just the ones who fight. The rest are taken in chains and I imagine put back on the market.
I take a shot to the head and die in the Georgia wilderness.