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Lions Roar : May 2007
This was not an area of large plantations, since the land is hilly with some bottoms of rich soil. Whites usually had small or medium-sized farms with slaves, but one pervasive thread of “southern life” ran through Leake Coun- ty history. White masters raped black slave women who bore their children. The treatment of these children varied, and sometimes they were accepted or acknowledged as relatives of the white families. And other perversity was always looming. Percy Sanders, a descendant of an early black family in the area, recalled hearing as a child about George Slaughter, a white farmer’s son by a black woman, who came to a horrible death because he “didn’t keep his place.” Ambushed by white men, including his own father, he was shot while riding his horse because the saddle horse was “too fine.” The story goes that when he was found, “the horse was drinking his blood.” — From Mississippi Harmony: Memoirs of a Freedom Fighter, by Winson Hudson and Constance Curry WHEN I WENT TO LIVE in Mississippi in the sixties and to work in the Civil Rights movement, whose aim was to emancipate and empower African Americans who were still, thousands of them, treated as badly as and sometimes worse than slaves, I met Winson Hudson. She was trying to write the story of her life. I helped her, until I left Mississippi to live in Suffering Too Insignificant for the Majority to See SHAMBHALA SUN MAY 2007 51 In this groundbreaking talk to participants at the first-ever African American Buddhist retreat, ALICE WALKER describes the great toll, both personal and societal, of racism in America, and how Buddhism has helped her heal its wounds. QUILTS BY FAITH RINGGOLD