I was scrolling through instagram one morning as I usually do while I drink my coffee when I ran across a post that took my breath away! Lynthia Edwards had posted some photos from a road trip just taken. She’s a fellow Alabama artist I have recently begun to follow and whose work I admire.
What Lynthia had no idea of possibly knowing is that I had met a descendent of one of the slaves that once lived here! Back in 2017! What are the odds?
When I was on a trip to Chicago, I had the pleasure of taking a ride in his Uber. We hit it off instantly and I was so moved by his stories, that I was inspired to blog about our meeting. If you have not read that post, “Common Ground”, you can find it here.
When he found out I was from Alabama, he shared with me family stories about the lives of slaves that he’s a descendent of. He told me he had visited the plantation they came from in Alabama as a child. It’s called “Magnolia” but he had no idea where it was or if it was even still standing. I googled it when I got home to try and find photos for the blog, but I did not find anything that I felt sure was the place he was speaking of. But here there it is! So I messaged Lynthia immediately. We were both SO excited! This has to be the place where these things happened!
So now we are on a mission! We want to find him. I was able to locate his photo and our route on my Uber app, but I can’t find any way to contact him or get a message to him. Two artists in Alabama really want to speak with him. We want to hear more and share more of his family stories! And I’d also love to know he is ok during this pandemic that has hit Chicago so hard and I that am sure has impacted Uber drivers financially.
If you can help us find him, please message me. With so many decedents, it’s entirely possible that the owners of the plantation today know some of his family’s stories. But I will reach out and ask to be sure.
It is so easy to imagine a documentary or movie based on all of this! (Hello Tyler Perry? Are you reading this?) And it’s a great reminder of the importance of capturing stories of our older generations while we can.
The original post with some of the stories can be found here.