It is near the end of the Northern War of Aggression, and General Sherman’s troops have begun their fiery sweep toward Atlanta. Virtually all able white Southern men and boys have been pressed into the Confederate cause. Any certainty about Southern social order, about the relationship between master and slave, slave and master is slipping away into social and economic chaos.
Rumors of freedom, of a coming Emancipation Proclamation, circle in the eddies of this maelstrom. Freedom—an impossible hope—is forever pushed back out of the consciousness of slaves born of slaves born of slaves, for hope breeds greater hope, which is certain to be crushed like a butterfly under a boot. Crushed with malice, carelessness, or complete indifference, but crushed. It is better not to hope. Now, though, there is the real possibility of freedom, whatever that might mean, but it is to be born in a world of nearly complete social, moral and economic breakdown.
It is a terrible, sobering story told wonderfully by author C.D. Harper.
Seth Harper, Jr., is the owner of a vast Kentucky plantation pulled from the wilderness by his grandfather and completed by his father. He… Continue reading