The New South - Rising with a New Attitude

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Somehow The Old, Deep South did not accept the fact that it lost the civil wars, so it has risen to the top, with no end in sight...


THE NEW SOUTH, Rising with a Ner

It was a cloudy morning, not like yesterday when the sun casts its golden rays across the wide field, enveloping the area like an extra layer of sheet. Yesterday was different. The skies barely peeked through the heavy fog, making it difficult to distinguish between the barns and the little thatch houses which dotted the plains like a spotted blanket. I did not care too much for mornings like this. My mother would burden me with layers of clothing, even though within the next few hours the temperature would blast forward - and up to 110 degrees.

My family; my mother, my dad and a few cousins and nieces lived in a little house just across the field where the owner lives. My mother would go to the 'big house' every day to do housework while my father would tend to the cotton crops and livestock owned by the farmer; one of the biggest and most influential in the valley.

My name is Aluscious, and was barely 6 years old when my life began to change. I never knew why I was given that name. It was hard to pronounce, and even harder to spell, if I even knew then how to read or spell anything. It would be years later that I finally got it changed to Marcus. I learned about the Jamaican civil rights leader, Marcus Garvey, and loved the aura it conjures.

In my younger years I used to roam the fields, oblivious of the workers as they plant, reap and stored vast amount of cotton and other provisions to be taken away in carts and trailers to somewhere I never knew. Now I was required to accompany my siblings in the fields to help gather the crops. Being the youngest, I was allowed to basically walk along, not doing much, but is still required to 'walk the fields.'


It was during a hot summer day when I began to notice the restless spirits of the workers in the fields. Somethings had changed over the past weeks, and there were much standing around in groups talking quietly among themselves. I also noticed that whenever one of the 'bosses' came along, the group would disperse; only reconvened when the 'boss' leaves. There were sporadic visits by the town sheriffs and other armed men from the town.

During such visits, my mother would immediately take me to one of the barns and shut me inside. The barns were not particularly made to enclose much because there were boards and areas of the sides missing, and to me, it was no different from being outside, but it seem to give my mother some sort of comfort; knowing I was 'inside.' Through the missing slats on one side of the barn I could see men being hustled in groups across the field. I had a special friend; a tall worker we call 'Assi.' He was like a brother I never had. I saw Assi marching across the field with the other men and a few of the bigger, and often boisterous women, all active members of some secret group. Assi would always, in strictly confidence, tell me not to trust the 'white folks.'

This did not bother me much because I really did not have much to do with them in the first place, even though my mother cooked their meals, washed their clothes, clean their houses and often times, take care of their young ones. The incident was soon forgotten, or not openly talked about, and the reaping seasons was on and everyone became extremely busy; no time to congregate and discuss personal issues.