In my free time I transcribe information wanted ads by freed slaves that were looking for their family members. Yesterday as I was doing this I wondered what slaves had my name. So I went on a quest to find slaves named Hannah. I don’t know why I felt compelled to find them but I needed to acknowledge that I knew they existed. They were here. They were not forgotten. Seeing all the women named Hannah was very emotional. Then hearing Viola Davis’s Oscar speech, “People ask me all the time, what kind of stories do you want to tell, Viola? And I say, exhume those bodies. Exhume those stories.” So perhaps that is what I was trying to do…exhume them, their memories and stories…

any-other-name-2

 

When you ask me, why I can’t just get over it, this is why. There are so many fragments of my history that I will never know. That so many of us will never know. We spend a lifetime clutching for shattered pieces of ancestors we will never truly know. Yet they were here and it is our duty to remember even while you long for us to forget…

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