Photos taken by Art Thomas at Memory Hill Cemetery, Milledgeville, GA.
This chain cross was made by "skillful craftsmen's" whose slave labor made America what she is today. Even though they are intentionally overlooked, their work was not in vain and shall not be forgotten.
This chain is the last of the "original work" created by African slaves in America during the heyday of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade in American. Along with being a burial marker, it is a sign, with many strong subliminal messages, to future generations and the rest of the world, from generations of Afrikans without a voice. My aim is to make their voices heard, which are the same messages we desire, but too intimidated, humiliated to voice today- (((your inner voice))).
They are one of the few sacred momentos in the Potter's Field, gone unnoticed, distinguishing African American slave graves from the graves of their oppressors. They serve as proof and as a vivid reminder of an era and people gone by, which endured hundreds of years of keeping each other in bondage. Did you know in order to keep a person in bondage or down the oppressor has to be there with them. I do not know quite how to describe the feeling I get from being so close to these chains, but to actually touch and feel them, gives me an inspiration like no other.
They remind me of the chains I am destined to wear - Respect, Human decency and Order, the idea of freeing your mind to THINK. Their voices silienced, yet their pain and suffering lives on in me? We wish we had never done it, but my ancestors and your ancestors knew what they were doing, how horrible it was and they still didn't care enough to stop, just like today.
Slave graves are marked by chains consisting of one, two or three links. In their place, they are a testament to how plausible such a situation can easily exist today, whether you like it or not, know it or not, ignore it or not.
Today the chains may be viewed as a status symbol or communication to passerbys, of the amount of freedom achieved during a slave's life. However, in my mind, these chains represent a breed of people who are no strangers to oppression, exploitation, domination and exclusion through; Poverty, Illiteracy, Inequality, and Trickery. But They survived!
Need inspiration and self-help, then; you have come to the right place.
It is said, one link represents those born into slavery, two links for those born free but were later enslaved and died without regaining their freedom and three links for those whose entire lives were spent in slavery.
Three links are the only markers taking the shape of a cross. One and two links hang from an iron post which is somewhat shaped like an upside-down ( j ).
White America agree slavery was immoral, unethical and want us to believe the majority of Americans fail to realize white slave owners comprised only 10% or less of the white population and 40% or more of the white population of the South in Lincoln's time were not even landowners, and most were more destitute than Black slaves. But my question are, does the means justify the end and what does this have to do with anything?
Below are a few words, I thought befitting this discovery.
Whenever we find ourselves alone inside duty,
----bound by moral chains we cannot explain,
----tied down in our freedom so as to be seen as too timid, too frigid, too afraid to pick up our own lives,
----when innocence and duty are seen as a weakness,
----when circumstance steals away our dreams and what we would want for ourselves we need to give to others, it is then, we are feeling what Jesus felt on Good Friday!!! -Author unknown.
So African Americans of today do have some idea of what it feels like to be in bondage and crucified - no credit at all.
(((your inner voice.com)))
(((your inner voice.com)))