From the Publisher
On one of my visits to Houston in 1978, I told her that I wanted to write a book using the stories she had told me. The most painful part of that conversation for me was when I saw the tears well up in her eyes, as she whispered, "Baby, please don't. At least not while I am alive. You see, they might still come after me for talking 'bout it. Like the time when..." Her words trailed off. The fear in her eyes, so many years later, broke my heart. I could only imagine how deep her pain must have been. So, I promised that I would not write the story until after her death. However, that was also the moment that I knew that her story had to be told. Though this book is fictionalized, it is not fiction. It chronicles events, stories, instances, incidents and occurrences in the lives of many Black Americans. I have woven them together with the fabric of creativity, created central characters, used this opportunity to immortalize the strength, dignity, character and determination of those unsung heroes of yesteryear. Amid all the frustrations, all the pain, the agony and the abuses, there were still many joys.
Our forefathers did not book passage here. They came in the cargo bay of slave ships packed like sardines in a can, sleeping in their own feces and urine; fed swill like captured animals. They lay chained to boards, helpless as their women and young girls were being brutally raped at the hands of their captors. They cried as their eyes witnessed those same women choose death by sea, when they found that they were carrying the seed of their rapists. Their pain was deepened as those who became ill on this journey were forcibly thrown overboard to die, simply because they were dispensable. Their journey was long (one to two years) and painful.
Black American History is not pretty, nor is it romantic, but, it is History. American History, My history, and MUST be recorded as such. The events herein represent the cornerstone and integral parts of that History. Survival of those times is the thing which make us unique, and yet the same as all others.
AUTHORS’ NOTE: - This book is written in the language of the era to add to its authenticity. To have written it in correct English would not have conveyed the flavor of the time.