The flowers were vivid, and the birds sung a different song. Stress of the night with coyotes lays bare natures might. Her might to smile in adversity.
My journey to this Virginia Courtroom in 1655 was long and arduous. My name is John Casor and I have been farming Johnson's land for 7 or more years now. The land is in deep old Virginia and we grow that Rolfe tobacco and a bunch of corn.
We called the Rolfe Branded Tobacco "Becky Weed" cause we all know his Indian wife gave him the pipe stuffins.
We worked long hours every day. Only wicked storms could stop our activity in the fields. The times were good as we were not slaves. We had a deal to tend the land to make our daily. We were building America.
John Casor was declared the first slave for life in America in 1654 (or 1655) for his owner Anthony Johnson. This event set up Virginia to legalize slavery just a few years later in 1661. As I browse the Smithsonian Museum website I know this is going to be long journey that will make me cry.
We have a lot to learn about John Casor.
America's first legal slave was owned by a free black man who sued to have his property returned.
In 1662 Virginia dipped its hand into the placenta and declared Partus sequitur ventrem. Forget the translation, this says babies born to slaves are slaves. Therefore, Thomas Jefferson hopped on board and made more slaves, mixed-race slaves. A fucking boom, so to speak.
Long before all this happened I was drinking water along the river in Ndongo, Congo. The ever-present slave traders were breeding us by this point and we all knew our fate.
For the few years of youth we ran and played along the banks. But the guns and strong men kept coming.
Ndongo was known to us as mother who fed, held and protected. Sometimes she rejected foreigners with her waters and might. We all dreamed of being Ndongo as youth. Hoping to learn to hide from the ship trappers we have come to know too well.
Ndongo was a land of growth with huts of thatch and rows and rows of food. We know now the GPS coordinates of John Casor's home.
2°18'35.24"S - 13°38'5.49"E - See Now.
We lived in Ndongo's Eye. Our hut was among the trees outside of the working fields.
Of course, my name was not John Casor when I was born. This writer hazards a guess and we call him First. He was the first born in his family of 7. The spread of ages was quick, and all worked, played, ate and slept together. The unit and bonds were strong.
First always woke up early and directed the day's activities. Industrious for the sake of survival and love of kin. This ethic is what real America was founded on. Not the work ethic to trample on others to drink better wine, but the hard work a community and a field needs to survive.
The radius of First's adventures was within the perimeter of Ndongo, as drawn. Not far, but large enough to offer the surprises of nature. And nature was everywhere, just like Virginia in 1648 when First was snatched, grabbed, tugged and sailed to America.
A noticeable change of sound occurred during First's life. At 2 years old First can still remember the sticks and stones dance that could be heard from far. From far as the hunters come back from the hunt. Or children playing in the distance.
Music with nature was part of life in Ndongo. The sounds were a mixture of thumps, clanks, hits and flutes. Everything made a sound and the creativity of First's clan was epic.
Buy this book to read what happens next.