Lizzie’s Journey from Plantation to Farm

2014-02-06-13.24.20 (1)Michelle Hill,
Oakland, CA.

Our family is so fortunate that my great, great, great grandparents were not separated from each other and their children during slavery. Because the family stayed together, we have a family Bible, pictures and records that document their lives in this country. My great grandmother, Mama Lizzie, was born in 1870 to a slave girl who was raped by her former master. Slavery had ended, but the freed slaves were still living on the plantation because they had nowhere to go. Mama Lizzie’s life spanned 94 years from the end of slavery to the mid-20th century; from a family of slaves to a family of land owners. She and my cousin Mary shared a room for 18 years in the family’s farmhouse. Mama Lizzie passed the family stories on to my cousin. Cousin Mary wrote Lizzie’s Story: A Slave Family’s Journey to Freedom to document the challenges, persistence, perseverance, ingenuity and strength of our ancestors. As African-Americans, we have been given a rare gift to know our family genealogy and heritage as far back as 1850.


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