Tracing slavery

Baltimore, Philly and Greensboro just aint the same after reading Octavia Butler’s science fiction on time traveling into slavery. Kindred — first published in 1997. First picked up by me in mid-August 2010.

I’ve trampled over history this summer of 2010. Looked at leaves swaying along the interstate south of Philadelphia. Seen Black youth, Black families and Black communities with new eyes. New eyes cast having read about the slave trade, migration routes, escape routes, and movement of commerce.

I sat in a branch of the Durham Public Library, pulling books edited by Ishmael Reed and Member of the Club, a collection of articles written by Lawrence Otis Graham. Slavery doesn’t look the same now that it sits on the other side of the wall. A wall capable of taking my arm off, as it did to Dana/Edana in Kindred.

Atrocities of commerce. Or was it genocide borne of commerce, in visiting Colorado’s Camp Amache and Sand Creek Massacre. According to the War Department, Amache was called the Granada War Relocation Center.

All this, for a mulatto in miscegenation nation.

Are you open or transferring misery?

Substantial difference between being told/asked: What makes you miserable? rather than being asked … How would you describe how you feel?

It was telling that misery was named. But who’s misery — that of the questioner, answerer, or someone that the questioner is thinking of?

Questions, and how we ask them. Succinct questions elicit brief answers. Sloppily formed questions offer little cohesion, focus. And are more about the messy mind asking a question in the midst of their own declaration than they are about seeking the inner opinions of the person asked.