My grandfather's grandfather was a slave his entire life. I never knew that man although I share his blood. I can't imagine what that life could have been like and I am forever grateful that I do not have to. He lived an entire life not his own.
But that man had a son...
His son was also born into slavery. But he was alive for the Emancipation. A huge step for our family. Attaining freedom. His life was his! I don't know much about this man either other than the fact that I share his blood as well. Although he never owned land...
He also had a son.
And this son I have heard some about. He was the first Reed to own land. It was four walls, a dirt floor, and a flat roof with an outhouse, but it belonged to him and his family. I've heard he was stern and rarely smiled. But he had a work ethic and a determination to do what it took to take care of his family. He had no formal education.
But he had many sons.
The youngest of these sons I know very well. That son is my father.
In this family, when you reached high school age, you left school to pick cotton in the fields to help support the family. Every one of the brothers had done this. It was a rite of passage of sorts.
But when this youngest son reached high school age, he received the worst news of his young life. He was told he would not be joining his brothers in the fields. The youngest brother was going to be the first of his family to receive a high school education.
After high school, he earned a scholarship excelling in multiple sports. From there, he went on to receive his Masters degree. He was able to start a family with more comfort than his family ever had.
And on the fourth day of November in 1981 at 5:02 PM in Oklahoma City, OK, he had a son.
As I sit here contemplating my family history and my legacy. I think about how each of my ancestors endured and thrived given their respective circumstances. Each one of them handed something down of benefit to propel us further.
So I think about myself and how I relate to my circumstance. We are living in an historic time when leadership is lacking. In these times I feel the support of my ancestors. They help me to be calm.
They inform me with the knowledge that we can band together and overcome our challenges.. and they hold me accountable that I can share this feeling of calm and unity with you.
Our ancestors would like us to know that our struggle is not in vein, as was not theirs. This is all culminating to something.. something strange and great. No matter who is in office, we will all be stuck with ourselves. We might as well make that as great of an experience as we can!
Bliss In Unity