A Mother's View
When looking at our own history, we often edit out the more horrific parts, but in doing so we fail to learn how to recognize when those moments are being reenacted in our current events. Nothing in our history will ever reach the evil done by slavery. It is our nation's original sin; the first payment for that transgression was paid with the bloodshed in the Civil War. However, like the Saturday sinner, the message of last Sunday is forgotten, and we don't see how soon we will be forced to pay the penance again for our repeated transgressions.
Until every mother can look at her son without fear of losing him, without fear he will suffer injustice, and without fear that he will be judged without cause, we will not have finished our work and fulfilled the promise of Juneteenth.
From The Narrative Life of Henry Box Brown.
"It was not my fortune to be long under my mother's care; but I still possess a vivid recollection of her affectionate oversight. Such lessons as the following she would frequently give me. She would take me upon her knee and, pointing to the forest trees which were then being stripped of their foliage by the winds of autumn, would say to me, my son, as yonder leaves are stripped from off the trees of the forest, so are the children of the slaves swept away from them by the hands of cruel tyrants; and her voice would tremble and she would seem almost choked with her deep emotion, while the tears would find their way down her saddened cheeks. On those occasions she fondly pressed me to her heaving bosom, as if to save me from so dreaded a calamity, or to feast on the enjoyments of maternal feeling while she yet retained possession of her child. I was then young, but I well recollect the sadness of her countenance, and the mournful sacredness of her words as they impressed themselves upon my youthful mind--never to be forgotten.
Mothers of the North! as you gaze upon the fair forms of your idolised little ones, just pause for a moment; how would you feel if you knew that at any time the will of a tyrant--who neither could nor would sympathise with your domestic feelings--might separate them for ever from your embrace, not to be laid in the silent grave 'where the wicked cease from troubling and where the weary are at rest,' but to live under the dominion of tyrants and avaricious men, whose cold hearts cannot sympathise with your feelings, but who will mock at any manifestation of tenderness, and scourge them to satisfy the cruelty of their own disposition; yet such is the condition of hundreds of thousands of mothers in the southern states of America."