I would say that today, we have only begun to face America’s past. If I said racist past, that would signify that it was behind us or that it was only racist. Any adjective that comes to mind does not adequately describe the practice of capturing people and putting them in chains to do other’s work. And work they did. America was built with slave labor. Every Black carpenter, cook, metalworker, field hand, you name it, deserves an honorable place in American history. Men, women and children. How did they endure? One of the ways they kept their spirits up was to sing work songs. Railroad workers used steel hammers and kept time with them. Collectively singing helped to get the job done, appropriately pounding and pulling at just the right time. “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad,” was originally sung by slaves building levees along the Mississippi River. It was changed to “railroad” at a later date. Take a trip to New Orleans and view the levee and the beautiful homes along the river. Don’t look at them as what the white plantation owners built. View them with the knowledge that they were built by skilled slaves whose names are not only forgotten but were never written down. Suellen Ocean is the author of the Civil War Era Historic Romance, Black Pansy.
Available Here: http://www.amazon.com/Black-Pansy-Suellen-Ocean/dp/1484900278