Thomas, 1807

Thomas grew quickly, and he had a good childhood. Well, insofar as he knew goodness to be. By the age of five, Thomas was able to help his mama in the field. By age ten, Thomas was able to care for chickens and horses. By age sixteen, Thomas was prime for heavy lifting in the fields. The yellow boy was no idiot. He saw how Master Andrew treated his mama after dark; if he tried to stop Master, nothing good would come. So Thomas remained silent. For years.

On a chilly evening, Thomas was laughing around a fire with the other young slaves when he heard his mama scream. Overtaken by instinct and adrenaline, Thomas ran to his mama’s bunker to find Master Andrew viciously raping Anwuli. Without thinking, Thomas grabbed a piece of iron and beat Master Andrew off of his mama. Master Andrew, thinking Thomas was his son, beat him just into silence and submission, so as to ejaculate and be on his way.

Not willing to tolerate nonsense or have his life threatened, the next day Master Andrew called the broker, had Thomas chained and thrown onto a wagon. Anwuli begged Master Andrew for his mercy and ran after the wagon crying for her son as far as her weary legs could go; Thomas’ cry pervaded the plantation. Tired of his tears, the broker clocked Thomas in the head so he would pass out. Thomas and Anwuli would never meet again.

Thomas was awakened, still chained, in a place called Mississippi . Before Thomas was taken to a slave auction, he was groomed, buffed and seized. He was auctioned as sixteen year old yellow nigger good for heavy-lifting; another thirty years of profit. He sold quickly. Chained to a wagon, Thomas fell asleep and woke up in Attalla, Mississippi. Coming onto a dirt road, Thomas noticed a sign that read Brown Plantation.

He settled quickly and made no attempt to escape, hoping that good behaviour would allow him to return to his mama. Hopelessly optimistic, Thomas was good for the Brown plantation. Not only for the white folk and profit, but the other slaves enjoyed him. A real funny and charming young man. A young enslaved woman by the name of Lizbeth Brown fell keen to this charming Thomas. Wanting to make his mama proud, Thomas took Lizbeth as his wife and found some happiness and hope in the midst of hell.

The enslaved people threw a beautiful wedding with great food, music, dancing, clothes, and a new broom to signify their union. Thomas and Lizbeth consummated their marriage that night, and it was so. By age twenty-five, Thomas had three children by Lizbeth. Their fourth child was a strong and radiant girl whom they named Ella Ijemma, after Thomas’ mama. She would be remembered by the plantation as Ella Brown.

Ella, 1831

Ella grew quickly, and she had a good childhood. Well, insofar as she knew goodness to be. Ella was kept inside the big house as the playmate of Master Brown’s daughter, Mary, who was of the same age. Even though Ella was a child, a slave she was. She were to do whatever was told of her by young Mary. Thankfully, Mary held onto naivety and treated Ella as a sister. They would have tea parties, play with dolls and bug Mary’s older Brother, John. By age sixteen, Ella was fully developed and reproductively prime. John was quick to notice this.

Mary and Ella spent an afternoon together having lemonade outside of Mary’s bedroom. John found them, and told Mary that their father beckoned her outback. Mary excused herself and left John and Ella alone. Seductively at first, John inched his way closer to Ella with sweet remakerks. She was not amused by his flirts, and crossed her legs. John grew frustrated, then angry. He heavily reminded Ella that she was his nigger whom he could treat however he wanted. Without another word, John closed the doors, grabbed the young virgin, undressed her and himself, silenced her pleas and penetrated the slave.

Ella became pregnant.

Henry, 1847

Eight months later, Ella birthed a long and light-skinned boy. Thomas and Lizbeth were saddened by their daughter’s assault, yet knew they held no authority for revenge. So they welcomed the child as their grandson. Ella named her son Henry. John claimed and loved Henry as his son. Though Henry did not live in the big house, John treated him well. Henry grew quickly, and had a good childhood. Well, insofar as he knew goodness to be.

While Henry was but a boy, Ella grew in love and married a dark skinned slave. Ella and the dark-skinned man had many children together, all darker than Henry. As Henry grew into boyhood, he noticed that his brothers and sisters were treated much differently than he was. As a teenager, Henry was a well-trained house nigger and entertained the Brown family well by playing the piano and fiddle.

Henry would watch out of the window as Master Brown and John would abuse his darker skinned siblings, his step-father, and his mother, Ella. Henry began leaving the safety of the big-house at night to bring food and tell stories to his family at the slave quarters. Henry loved his mom, and the beauty of her complexion.

That so, he grew keen to a young slave, darker than himself; they would sit together closely during the sharing of stories, and danced even closer if the music desired it. Henry and this young woman grew in love. Unable to marry because of John’s protection over Henry, they began sharing a bed and the two, in spirit and body, became one.

The young woman became pregnant.

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