Hello. Come on in. The daddy writes about current events, literature, music and, once in a while, drops something on you from back in the day to make you pause and ponder, stop and stare, and begin to wonder. Who knows? You may start to pace the floor, shake your head from side to side, then fall down on bended knees in a praying position and cry, "Lawd, have mercy! What is this world coming to?" Check yourself! But this blog is NOT about the daddy. It's about you: your boos, your fam, your hood, your country...our hopes and dreams of a better tomorrow. So let's make a pact: the daddy will put it on the track if you'll chase it down and hit him back. Together, we can definitely take it to another level. Shall we?"

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Nat Turner Talked to God

“I heard a loud noise in the heavens, and the Spirit was loosened, and Christ had laid down the yoke he had borne for the sins of men, and that I should take it on and fight against the Serpent, for the time was fast approaching when the first should be last and the last should be first.”
--Nat Turner

Today, the daddy is thinking of Nat Turner and his rebellion, about him saying that he talked to God, that God compelled him to strike out against slavery.
He's feeling this poem by iampunha. It's taken from an online blog called Progressive Historians for Our Future.
Nat Turner Talked to God

death is what awaited
and he knew it

but death
was preferable
to not living


for someone else's bottom line
and someone else's family

no more
for Nat Turner

177 years ago
a few hours ago
Nat Turner's soul said
"My body is bought, but my soul is no man's"
and struck out…

in a way
as a slave change
they hurt you to make you decide
if the pain is worth it
you're dead from the time you're born
and if you try to
and if you escape
once you kill
you've burned your only bridge
so by any means necessary

i don't blame him one bit

Nat Turner talked to God
and then met him
(our president talks to god
and lies to the rest of us)

my father promises me
(without saying 'promise' but meaning it all the same)
he and i
will meet Nat Turner

i'd like to meet that man
Born: 2 October 1800
Died: 11 November 1831 (execution by hanging)
Birthplace: Southampton County, Virginia
Best known as: Leader of the 1831 slave rebellion

Two good books about Nat Turner and Black slave rebellions:
1. Black Rebellion: Five Slave Revolts by Thomas Wentworth Higginson

Product Description: Black Rebellion, a fascinating account of five slave insurrections, among them the story of the Maroons, escaped slaves in the West Indies and South America who successfully resisted larger British armies while living an independent existence for generations in the mountains and jungles of Jamaica and Surinam; of Gabriel Prosser, who recruited about 1,000 fellow slaves in 1800 to launch a rebellion throughout Virginia; of Denmark Vesey, an ex-slave, seaman, and artisan, fluent in several languages, who conspired in 1822 to kill the white citizens of Charleston, South Carolina, and take over the city; and of the revolutionary mystic Nat Turner, who in 1831 organized and led the most successful and dramatic slave revolt in North America. The author also describes how whites responded with panic, sweeping arrests, mass executions, and more repressive laws in a futile effort to crush the slaves’ insatiable desire to be free.

2. The Fires of Jubilee: Nat Turner’s Fierce Rebellion by Stephen Oates

From audio file:
"Nat Turner is an American enigma. Was he a saint? A visionary? Were those visions authentic? How could he have come from the mild Virginia Tidewater society of 1831? Oates answers these questions and more in his vivid portrait of Turner, the slave society that nurtured him and the changes wrought in that society because of him. Reader John McDonough adopts a scholarly, but highly engaged, tone that is patient, thorough and deliberate. At the same time, his voice is resonant with the mystery he's exploring. Its burry roughness holds the listener and creates an intimacy that matches the author's own familiar tone and takes all the difficulty out of doing history." P.E.F. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine

New York Times
"A penetrating reconstruction of the most disturbing and crucial slave uprising in America's history.... A vivid and excellent narrative account."


SagaciousHillbilly said...

Mac, Interesting post. I once did a graduate paper that debunked the myth of a local plantation owner(the state now owns the plantation and uses it for a museum while venerating the former owner and confederate war officer) as having been some sort of benevolent progressive friend to the negro. I was downright proud of that piece of work. . . but anyway, in the process I carefully studied slave laws from prerevolution to 1863. Interestingly, I found that in and around 1830 a host of laws were enacted that restricted movement and congregation of slaves, especially in VA (which were the laws I was focused on). It turned out that the flurry of laws enacted were in direct response to Nate Turner's rebellion.
The man came down and he came down hard! It was bad before 1830, but after 1830 it was horrid with slaves having absolutely no autonomy whatsoever to meet, talk, educate, etc.
Man, I loved turning Albert Gallatin Jenkins back into the slave owning prick that he really was.

MacDaddy said...

sagacious: Fantastic! I know you got back at the prick. But, in the process, you gained some knowledgeable history. On another subject, did your family survive the Florida storm?

Anonymous said...

I've been wanting to read about him.

Kellybelle said...

Me, too. I've been waiting for a good book on Nat. The William Styron one seems biased, like Turner was crazy for rebelling against a system that was an affront to God.
Nice stuff!

MountainLaurel said...

Mac, this is one of the reasons that I love your blog: the poetry that says more than the mere words.

SH, I'd like to read a synopsis of your paper. Is this available? If not, you may want to think about making it available. It's a story that needs to get out more.

Evenotes said...

Hello Daddy,
You have such a wonderful gift for sharing history and adding poetry or lyrics from songs to support your message. As the Sistas down South would say, when GOD speaks, you better listen as exemplified in the story of Moses. The way I understand it, Moses wanted GOD to get his brother Aaron to take on the task to lead the people out of bondage. Moses didn't think he could speak or represent as well as Aaron. But when one is empowered by GOD, its hard to sit down or to take a back seat. This is what came to mind as I read your piece about Nat Turner. Nat didn't just talk, he "comprehened" (as folks say) and responded in a way to make us all stand up and listen that slavery was/ IS wrong. Daddy, as always, THANKS.