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Daddy had given Susie and her husband land and also built Susie a house. He had done

the same for Edith. He had also helped Sistuh’s husband in the building of their family house.

So the law in a manner had left Mama a kind of abandoned orphan, in her own house

and on her own land that she helped to pay for and to keep up since 1948.

 

 

Letters of an Abiding Faith:

Legacy of a Slave's GrandDaughter to her Son

written by Ella Lewis to her Son (Rudolph Lewis)

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Letter 16

 

June 19, 1981

 

Dear Son,

I received your letter glade to hear From you as always. I truly Enjoyed your stay With me. I can't Express my self in riten. But I am glade you gave me my flowers while I live. Dont you Ever think one time you dont have a home to Come to after I dead and gone. You are miss led along the line Some Where. But I So glade you know I did my best By you. I still will as long as I live.

So about the land of your daddy's. He left me in a hell of a shape.* I wish you can come down with Theresa when she come. She say she was coming the week End after the 4th July. I got Some Thing I want to discuss with you. Tell you the Facts. If you dont have the money come with her I pay your way when you get here. I try to give answer to all your Questions.

As you Know I am 69 years young now. Least little thing get on my nerve. Not you Because I love you. Doc For you is my Son. If you cant now, I hope you come Before you get a Job. I leaving you some land and money.** The best any poor Mother Can do. So you Be sweet Keep smiling. So may God Bless and keep you until we meet again. I hope you can read this poor hand riten Love Mother.

I Call you last Thursday night which was the 11 of June. A lady answered the phone say I had the wrong number. I call the number you told me. And Lucinda call the same. So I ask give me your phone number. And it was the Same one you left her.

Your Mother

Ella

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 Commentary

*Daddy left no will for the family house and land at Jerusalem. Mama had no legal right thus to dispose of the land. It is unclear whether the absence of a will was done by intent or by neglect. The intent of the law, however, seems to have been to protect the rights of orphans under the age of consent. But when Daddy died all his children were or had been married with land and property of their own. So legally, it seemed as if the daughters or the children of his daughters had a right to property and land that they had never lived on, except for Annie, and never paid a dime into. 

Moreover, Daddy had given Susie and her husband land and also built Susie a house. He had done the same for Edith. He had also helped Sistuh’s husband in the building of their family house. So the law in a manner had left Mama a kind of abandoned orphan, in her own house and on her own land that she helped to pay for and to keep up since 1948. In addition she had paid the taxes on the land and the property since Daddy’s death in 1970 and paid bills that he left outstanding. She also buried him without assistance from his daughters. Daddy left me a policy of $500 but I handed that over to Mama, for I knew it was she who had kept the payments on the insurance.

** Mama owned about thirty acres inherited from her mother Laura and father TeeJay.

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

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update 31 December 2011

 

 

 

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