While some may relegate it to the confines of the obscure and deem the shoulders on which I stand – as faceless people from long ago.
I don’t have that luxury.
Those faces stare back at me with the weight of purpose.
I did not have the honor of meeting you all, but the Universe seems to have told me otherwise, whispering compelling affirmations that you have made my acquaintance before.
From the edges of aged photos your gazes have met mine and given a mandate – one that I struggled to elude, but it was not to be.
But like Jonah, duty enveloped and granted redemption by allowing me to be spat out – under the condition that I keep the torch lit as I followed those tangled webs of history that allowed me and my ilk to be.
You persevered, so that we could be – I thank you for your heroism.
I’ve wondered about your thoughts of freedom as you swirled about in the tumult.
Rejecting notions of chattel – my 3rd Great Grandfather was born a slave and took up arms as a soldier in the Civil War to affirm his humanity in the face of the inhumane.
To my Grandpa and Grandma Tipton and the Ancients…
I am equal parts humbled and honored to be of you – and I promise to continue telling the stories of our family until the Almighty calls me home.
I am happy to report that I have found your children in the form of my cousins, Aunts and Uncles.
That resolve which allowed you thrive?
I see all of you in their eyes – knowing that you have governed our steps.
We love you because we are you.
We are the children of those who refused to die.
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