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I graduated from high school in 1965 at sixteen years old and went to Baltimore

to attend Morgan State College. Arthur Lewis, who contributed to that

 education,  was one of the seven  of Ella’s brothers-in-law, a year or

so younger than her husband William Lewis (born 25 December 1905)

 
 

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 1

 

February 19, 1976

Dear Son,

Received your letter was indeed a pleasure as always. It's just that they don't come often enough.

Everyone here is fair I guess except for colds and backache for myself. Bunk is doing fine but she still have to see the doctor.

I'm very proud you're beginning to face all the joys and disappointments in life and my appreciation goes to your tutor for helping you so much.

You are so right about your coming home since '65.* Try to make it more often before it's all too late. You know tomorrow is promised to no one.

I sent you some things by Lucinda when they were down to see Bunk but she said she hadn't seen you or heard from you since she'd been back. She said she hate to come over to your house and you weren't home.

I guess you remember Foodie, Arthur's daughter in Philadelphia.** She had a heart attack Tues. Susie called last night and it seems she's doing better but she'll be on medication for the rest of her life, every 4 hrs.

Jr. is still stationed at Fort Belvoir and his wife is down here. You know Peter graduates from high school in June. He's planning to go to Norfolk State.***

Mac is still doing the same old things chasing girls and getting high. I guess you've heard Jenny and Jessie have moved down here with her Daddy.****

The entire family joins in sending you their love and Bunk says hurry home we're still here.

Love always

Mom

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Commentary

Ella and William Lewis had five daughters: Virginia, Susie, Lucinda, Edith, and Annie (called Bunk)--each has children. My birth mother was Lucinda but I was raised as the son of my maternal grandparents. At the writing of this letter was sixty-four and I was living in Baltimore finishing up my undergraduate degree at University of Maryland College Park.

*I graduated from high school in 1965 at sixteen years old and went to Baltimore to attend Morgan State College. Arthur Lewis, who contributed to that education, was one of the seven  of Ella’s brothers-in-law, a year or so younger than her husband William Lewis (born 25 December 1905), who died in January 1970, less than a month after his sixty fourth birthday.

**Uncle Arthur had three children: Martha, Mary (called Phoodie), and Herbert. Phoodie (or "Foodie") and Martha have lived in Philadelphia since leaving the countryside.

***Annie’s oldest son David Williams is often called Junior (Jr.). His brother Clarence was nicknamed "Peter" when he was a boy. Mac is one of her grandsons, the youngest son of her daughter Susie, who lives across the field in hollering distance.

****Jesse and Jenny are the daughters of Mama’s only living brother at the time, Sam Jackson. Jenny's husband was Jessie Green, now deceased.

Letter 2

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Ella Jackson Lewis

(August 11, 1910--December 28, 2009)

Makes Her Transition

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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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Negro Digest / Black World

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

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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update 31 December 2011

 

 

 

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