A Picture of Freedom

The Diary of Clotee, a Slave Girl, Belmont Plantation, Virginia 1859 (Dear America)

Ranked #96 in Slavery

Day or two later

Freedom is one of the first words I teached myself to write. Down in the Quarters people pray for freedom - they sing 'bout freedom, but to keep Mas' Henley from knowin' their true feelings, they call freedom "heaven." Everybody's mind is on freedom.

But it is a word that aine never showed me no picture. While fannin' this afternoon, my eyes fell on "freedom" in a book William was readin'. No wonder I don't see nothin'. I been spellin' it F-R-E-D-U-M.

I put the right letters in my head to make sure I remembered their place....


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