Saturday, 12 October 2013


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    Aug 27, 2013 - Internment. No charge. No trial. This has been the reality in Ireland, for every generation, North and South, since the foundation of both scum ...

  2. Stop the Internment Torture of 63 Year Old Martin Corey ...

    Jun 15, 2013 - Imagine if you will, being taken from your home, without a reason or charge, by paramilitary police, who regularly collude in the murder of ...

  3. Martin Corey Britain's Abu Ghraib Irish Guineapig - Indymedia Ireland

    Jul 31, 2013 - These forms of Irish internment torture, which Britain was found guilty of torture, by the European Court of Human Rights, became known as the ...

  4. Marian Price Interned in "A Tin-pot African Dictatorship ...

    Feb 24, 2013 - Political Internment British Occupied Ireland Indymedia Ireland is a media ... Why does Martin Corey have to go to the Supreme Court? An open  ...
    You've visited this page 2 times. Last visit: 4/30/13

  5. Martin Corey Hung Out to Dry by Fickle Republican Politicians ...

    Jul 3, 2013 - I have been in prison for over 3 years and I still haven't been given a reason. They have put forward a number of allegations against me, and ...

  6. MI5 Massacre Agents Released on Interned Birthday of Martin Corey ...

    Sep 5, 2013 - The proof that Britain's Secret Services MI5 in British Occupied ireland, are hell bent on undermining the Irish Peace Process, can be found in ...

  7. In the Name of the Father Release Martin Corey - Indymedia Ireland

    Jun 26, 2013 - On 9 February 2005, then Prime Minister Tony Blair issued a public apology for the miscarriages of justice known as the Guilford 4, saying that ...

  8. Political Internment is Not Peace Process its Unconditional ...

    Jul 18, 2013 - Release Martin Corey Indymedia Ireland is a media collective. We are independent volunteer journalists producing and distributing the ...

  9. The Irish Political Internment Experience - Indymedia Ireland

    by CM Price -
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  10. RNU Demand Release Of Martin Corey - Indymedia Ireland

    REPUBLICAN NETWORK FOR UNITY (RNU) Spokesperson, MARTIN ÓG MEEHAN has demanded that Veteran Republican, Martin Corey be released ...

    1. Release Martin Corey - Indymedia Ireland
      Apr 19, 2010 - éirígí general secretary Breandán Mac Cionnaith has condemned the arrest on Friday [April 16] of former republican political prisoner Martin ...
    2. In the Name of the Father Release Martin Corey - Indymedia Ireland
      On 9 February 2005, then Prime Minister Tony Blair issued a public apology for the miscarriages of justice known as the Guilford 4, saying that he was.

      1. 10,000 Protest Internment 1971 - 2013 in Belfast - Indymedia Ireland
        Aug 17, 2013 - Release Martin Corey Indymedia Ireland is a media collective. We are independent volunteer journalists producing and distributing the ...


Here’s a public therapy session featuring the uncensored inside scoop on our long-term plan.

Information Clearing House
 - “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” That is, indeed, wise advice. If you’re going to talk the talk, you sure as hell better walk the walk. That’s what separates the real deal change-makers and freedom fighters from the hipsters and politicians. Most people just want to be cool, be a rock star, the savior and talk righteous smack, but once it comes to doing the hard work and heavy lifting, they eventually sell out, or just retreat back to the consumer droid lifestyle. Sadly, can’t say that I blame them for it. Being the change you rant about is incredibly fucking hard, especially when you’re trapped in a corrupted society and have a family to feed.
Forgive me for ego-trippin’ while occupying an Anonymous realm but I’ve had to move four times in four years to cut living costs so I could keep fighting the good fight. Now, with two kids (a 1 year-old and 3 year-old) being “the change you wish to see in the world” is catching up with me fast. Over the past year, I’ve been dancing between the raindrops, deeply strategizing long-term plans to grow the movement, trying to raise money that doesn’t have greedy and manipulative strings attached, while staving off eviction letters, with my wife in and out of the hospital. Before you break out your tiny little violin, let me make it clear that I’m one of the fortunate ones. Definitely not a fortunate son, but I’ve been fortunate compared to most others who have been out on the frontlines.
I’ve been truly occupying freedom and able to keep in the fight, independently following my passion for over five years now. It’s been quite the run, an incredibly wild ride. Haven’t had to answer to anyone, except my wife, of course. In that span of time, I’ve seen so many inspiring people come and go. Activists and journalists are like artists. Very few can make a living at it without compromising their vision or selling their soul. And if you happen to gain any level of recognition, the haters and saboteurs will come at you in force. The road to freedom is littered with crushed souls; people have been killed, sent to prison on dubious grounds, buried by legal fees or have gone financially broke. Some others have compromised their values by working for bureaucrats or partisan front groups and corporations. They justify their actions by saying that they’re trying to create change from within the system.
Don’t get me wrong, diversity of tactics is necessary and there is value in attempting to change the system from within. But let’s face it, if they weren’t getting a paycheck for it, they’d be going about it much differently. I’ve seen a lot of people, who upon losing the partisan or corporate paycheck, return to being much more radical (honest) in their approach. These people prove over and over again the insidious nature of wage slavery. The fact that we are trapped in a Skinner box with a “token economy” is all too clear, if you have the desire to think it through that deeply.
One’s ability to “be the change you wish to see in the world” is often destroyed by the economic chains in which we toil. That is why you don’t see mass movements toward freedom and sanity in the United States. We are all too busy trying to stay afloat and make ends meet, costs of living are incredibly high, 50% of the population is either in poverty or “near poverty”, and 75% of the population is living paycheck to paycheck – debt slavery and all that jazz. Play it again, Uncle Sam.
Okay, I’m digressing here… Allow me to course correct before I totally pigeonhole my thoughts as bitter and holier than thou – battle scars will do that to you.
Building the Movement Without Selling Out
“All creators need to be able to live in the shade of the big questions
long enough for truly revolutionary ideas and insights to emerge.”
– Orson Welles
Over the past year and a half, I’ve basically been in hiding. I’ve only done one interview and been keeping a low profile, strategizing and meeting with people behind the scenes in an attempt to develop a long-term plan. Anyone who pays attention realizes that there are effective solutions and inspiring alternatives to the vast array of problems we face as a society today. Yes, even many 1%ers understand that we are on a disastrous and unsustainable path. While spending significant time meeting with 1%ers, it became clear that most of them were looking to support a plan that they felt could help get us out of this mess. After extensive research and planning with some of the most inspiring people we could find, we managed to come up with a plan that many of our radical allies and empathetic 1%ers absolutely loved.
However, when it came to the long-term financial model, most of the 1%ers slowly backed away. Truth be told, some of the 1%ers that we’ve met with are not down to do something that they think can create change, unless there is significant money they can personally make off it. It’s one thing if you don’t want to put your money into something that you don’t think is going to work, it’s quite another to think something is an excellent idea and say you want to put your money into it, only to pull back once you realize that you’re not going to personally make millions off of it.
Being reasonable and tactical, understanding the significant long-term potential of the project, we realized that it would require more of an incentive for the upfront risk people were taking by putting in their money at an early stage, so we came up with a compromise. We decided to offer a deal that would allow them to cap out at doubling their money. Other than that, local communities would get the profits so they could put the money back into the community from which they are generated.
Since we decided to stand strong on those grounds, my phone, which used to ring constantly, has gonesilent. Alas, only a very small handful of these “socially conscious” 1%ers have stepped up to put any of their money where their mouth is. The fact is, we can raise the necessary funds through Venture Capital, but that’s definitely not being “the change we wish to see in the world.” You can call us overly idealistic all you want. Bottom line, we don’t want this to be yet another example of a small group of people making millions while most others do the hard work and barely get by. To be blunt, it’s been an all-out fucking battle to raise the necessary funds to make this happen in the right way.
We have a solid group of influential people who have supported us through the planning and initial development phase. We are still focused on getting enough momentum and resources together to make the plan a reality without having to take money with strings attached. Unfortunately, however, we are now running on fumes with little time left. Unless we quickly pull a rabbit out of a hat, we have to either accept money with strings attached or, once again, endure serious near-term financial hardship. We are, indeed, at the crossroads.
From a personal perspective, I’ve been incredibly frustrated, depressed and overwhelmed by all of it. After fighting so hard for so long, we’ve made it this far and we absolutely don’t want to sell out. I’ve done my best to put the long-term goals of the movement before personal gain. Every step of the way, there has been offers to sell out. Many people have wanted to use me and my background in an attempt to co-opt the movement, some people have had good intentions, most haven’t and were just looking to cash in. Even with this project, we have refused to use the names Occupy or the 99%.
By writing this piece, against the advice of some, I’m once again going against the odds and doubling down on the side of the movement. Ultimately, to sleep at night, you need to be transparent in your actions. So here it is, I’m not sure which exact way this is going to go, but I’m going to be up front about the entire process and let the chips fall where they may – don’t want to give the saboteurs any room to make false accusations and misrepresent the battle moves. We’re going to be held to the highest of standards, and to do this with integrity, to pull this off in the most effective, change-making way, we are going to need all the help we can get.
The Plan: A Decentralized Global Network of Sustainable Autonomous Zones
We believe the biggest lesson learned from the Occupy movement was the sense of genuine community that people felt inside the camps. People felt truly empowered; for once in their life they had a voice that could be heard and mattered. They were part of a community that cared for each other and debated real issues, instead of feeling alone and divided by the mainstream media’s endless charade of propaganda posing as news and information. For this vital lesson, we were reminded of the commonsense fact that you need to have human-to-human interaction on the ground to create real change.
With the collapse of traditional community organizations and the commodification of social gathering spaces, online social networks have begun to fill the void, but real change cannot happen until we have true community formation happening on the ground. As Occupy camps all over the world proved, we need places where socially conscious people can come together. There’s already a critical mass of aware and capable people prepared to create change, but they remain too isolated and scattered around without a real place to call home, without a community of support around them. We need to create a decentralized network of physical locations where people can go to collaborate, to build and model new ways of living that make our present ways of living obsolete.
We’ve thought long and hard about how to create a space that nurtures and maximizes all the energy around us. My co-conspirator Steven Starr and I analyzed emerging trends, from collaborative workspaces to coffee houses, from social venues to entertainment and media-making environments, from education to arts, from energy, food and health systems to effective community services. The elements within our plan are independently thriving all over the place. After consulting with many experienced people, we now have a way to bring all of these elements, which together form a thriving community, under one roof, and a strategy to have these community formations proliferate widely into a decentralized global network of Sustainable Autonomous Zones.
After modeling the financials, we’ve concluded that it will take $5.7 million to build the prototype here in Los Angeles, a self-sustaining, thriving prototype that models ways to create the change we urgently need, then allows it to flourish all over the country and globally. The first live evidence of our plan is already online: an independent, ad-free social network called We’re currently in beta, and our longer-term plan is for the online network to work seamlessly with the network of Sustainable Autonomous Zones on the ground.
We are calling the financial structure a “for-community-profit” initiative, which will generate profit that is used to fund solution-based, socially conscious projects in a fully transparent way. Strictly going the non-profit route is riddled with losing propositions. Taking on the world’s most powerful corporations with a non-profit is like taking on Mike Tyson in his prime, with one hand tied behind your back. There are situations where being a non-profit is useful, and we will certainly go that route when strategically wise. There will be non-profit elements, such as educational and community services. There will also be a grant process to fund the costs for low-income individuals and non-profit initiatives. However, we feel that it is vital that these be “profit-making” entities to establish a self-sustaining model that develops the resources needed to significantly benefit the surrounding community.
While it would of course be ideal to have local funders actually donate the money, at this point, as already mentioned, it doesn’t seem possible to raise the necessary funds without there being reward for the upfront risk they are taking. Once local investors double their money, they are paid out and then the community takes full control of the venture. We are exploring various effective ways to put a community governance structure in place; it will be up to the local community to decide which governance model works best in their local environment.
We think crowdfunding, especially in a community-building project such as this, is the key. However, you need serious resources and momentum to get a critical mass of crowd-funders in play. Our next step is to raise $250k to get the team and resources in place to ignite the momentum online and offline to fund the costs of the initial prototype.
There are obviously many more details to unveil and discuss; we will be posting information on a consistent basis moving forward. We fully intend to do this in a groundbreaking and sustainable way; we want this to exemplify the change we all urgently need to see in the world.
We are going to involve as many people as possible in the process, without it turning into a clusterfuck and/or field day for saboteurs. So here’s your invitation: if you’re interested in being involved, pleaseregister here and let us know your thoughts.
David DeGraw blogs at

Wednesday, 9 October 2013


They are all twats.

Moon-faced public schoolboys who still  believe

 in all the old shite that their privilged class 

have for ever. The only difference between 

Cameron and orangemen is that he has been

 told he’s not actually allowed to say nasty 

bigoted objectionable things as they; so he says

 fluffy crap that means nothing, still screwing

both countries though, oh sorry – that’s  the 

labour parties in both, i forgot, or (this bit

unavailable due to cuts – please make up your

 own incredible excuse here)



A senior Orangeman called on loyalists this week to increase their protests "right up to civil disobedience". The County Grand Secretary, Belfast said; "When the time is right we will probably upscale our protests and that's just what we intend to do, upscale them right up until civil disobedience if that's what it takes."

They Orange Order are not interested in genuine reconciliation or the peace process,  they want to ratchet up sectarianism and it won't be pretty!! Further violence from the Orange Order brethren is expected. The British paramilitary police, the PSNI are going to be busy and covered in a lot of foam !! These God fearing, born again Bible-PSNI-thumpers, have a strange kind of Protestant thug spirituality that they have brought into church riots recently, resulting in many fervent church goers reverting back to Catholicism.

A senior UVF anonymous source after the speech, later confided off the record, after persistent questions, that they envisioned burying large numbers of British paramilitary PSNI police in foam, while furnishing a video of recent burials of police in Brussels as an example. When it was pointed out that the burial of large numbers of PSNI alive, may constitute war crimes of mass graves, orange order colleagues replied, that it was their problem.

Behind the senior bigoted orangeman, supporting him stood Nelson McCausland who is The Minister for Social Development at Stormont, while further still in the shadows stood the UVF and UDA! British Occupied Ireland is the only"democracy" in the world where you see a Cabinet minister namely Nelson McCausland on the same stage as senior Orange Order chief Mawhinney ranting sectarian hatred. McCausland clapped in support of a typical Nazi Brownshirt  speech while MI5 are the SS Gestapo who kidnap and intern without trial anyone professing their Irish identity!

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Nanny of Daughter Shona Came Home Last Night

Zora Neale Hurston – Their Eyes Were Watching God

Janie saw her life like a great tree in leaf with the things suffered, things enjoyed, things done and undone. Dawn and doom was in the branches.
“Ah know exactly what Ah got to tell yuh, but it’s hard to know where to start at.
“Ah ain’t never seen mah papa. And Ah didn’t know ’im if Ah did. Mah mama neither. She was gone from round dere long before Ah wuz big enough tuh know. Mah grandma raised me. Mah grandma and de white folks she worked wid. She had a house out in de back-yard and dat’s where Ah wuz born. They was quality white folks up dere in West Florida. Named Washburn. She had four gran’chillun on de place and all of us played together and dat’s how come Ah never called mah Grandma nothin’ but Nanny, ’cause dat’s what everybody on de place called her. Nanny used to ketch us in our devilment and lick every youngun on de place
and Mis’ Washburn did de same. Ah reckon dey never hit us ah lick amiss ’cause dem three boys and us two girls wuz pretty aggravatin’, Ah speck.
“Ah was wid dem white chillun so much till Ah didn’t know Ah wuzn’t white till Ah was round six years old. Wouldn’t have found it out then, but a man come long takin’ pictures and without askin’ anybody, Shelby, dat was de oldest boy, he told him to take us. Round a week later de man brought de picture for Mis’ Washburn to see and pay him which she did, then give us all a good lickin’.
“So when we looked at de picture and everybody got pointed out there wasn’t nobody left except a real dark little girl with long hair standing by Eleanor. Dat’s where Ah wuz s’posed to be, but Ah couldn’t recognize dat dark chile as me. So Ah ast, ‘where is me? Ah don’t see me.’
“Everybody laughed, even Mr. Washburn. Miss Nellie, de Mama of de chillun who come back home after her husband dead, she pointed to de dark one and said, ‘Dat’s you, Alphabet, don’t you know yo’ ownself?’
“Dey all useter call me Alphabet ’cause so many people had done named me different names. Ah looked at de picture a long time and seen it was mah dress and mah hair so Ah said:
“ ‘Aw, aw! Ah’m colored!’
“Den dey all laughed real hard. But before Ah seen de picture Ah thought Ah wuz just like de rest.
“Us lived dere havin’ fun till de chillun at school got to teasin’ me ’bout livin’ in de white folks’ back-yard. Dere wuz uh knotty head gal name Mayrella dat useter git mad every time she look at me. Mis’ Washburn useter dress me up in all de clothes her gran’chillun didn’t need no mo’ which still wuz better’n whut de rest uh de colored chillun had. And then she useter put hair ribbon on mah head fuh me tuh wear. Dat useter rile Mayrella uh lot. So she would pick at me all de time and put some others up tuh do de same. They’d push me ’way from de ring plays and make out they couldn’t play wid nobody dat lived on premises. Den they’d tell me not to be takin’ on over mah looks ’cause they mama told ’em ’bout de hound dawgs huntin’ mah papa all night long. ’Bout Mr. Washburn and de sheriff puttin’ de bloodhounds on de trail tuh ketch mah papa for whut he done tuh mah mama. Dey didn’t tell about how he wuz seen tryin’ tuh git in touch wid mah mama later on so he could marry her. Naw, dey didn’t talk dat part of it atall. Dey made it sound real bad so as tuh crumple mah feathers. None of ’em didn’t even remember whut his name wuz, but dey all knowed de bloodhound part by heart. Nanny didn’t love tuh see me wid mah head hung down, so she figgered it would be mo’ better fuh me if us had uh house. She got de land and everything and then Mis’ Washburn helped out uh whole heap wid things.”
Pheoby’s hungry listening helped Janie to tell her story. So she went on thinking back to her young years and explaining them to her friend in soft, easy phrases while all around the house, the night time put on flesh and blackness.
She thought awhile and decided that her conscious life had commenced at Nanny’s gate. On a late afternoon Nanny had called her to come inside the house because she had spied Janie letting Johnny Taylor kiss her over the gatepost.
It was a spring afternoon in West Florida. Janie had spent most of the day under a blossoming pear tree in the back-yard. She had been spending every minute that she could steal from her chores under that tree for the last three days. That was to say, ever since the first tiny bloom had opened. It had called her to come and gaze on a mystery. From barren brown stems to glistening leaf-buds; from the leaf-buds to snowy virginity of bloom. It stirred her tremendously. How? Why? It was like a flute song forgotten in another existence and remembered again. What? How? Why? This singing she heard that had nothing to do with her ears. The rose of the world was breathing out smell. It followed her through all her waking moments and caressed her in her sleep. It connected itself with other vaguely felt matters that had struck her outside observation and buried themselves in her flesh. Now they emerged and quested about her consciousness.
She was stretched on her back beneath the pear tree soaking in the alto chant of the visiting bees, the gold of the sun and the panting breath of the breeze when the inaudible voice of it all came to her. She saw a dust-bearing bee sink into the sanctum of a bloom; the thousand sister-calyxes arch to meet the love embrace and the ecstatic shiver of the tree from root to tiniest branch creaming in every blossom and frothing with delight. So this was a marriage! She had been summoned to behold a revelation. Then Janie felt a pain remorseless sweet that left her limp and languid.
After a while she got up from where she was and went over the little garden field entire. She was seeking confirmation of the voice and vision, and everywhere she found and acknowledged answers. A personal answer for all other creations except herself. She felt an answer seeking her, but where? When? How? She found herself at the kitchen door and stumbled inside. In the air of the room were flies tumbling and singing, marrying and giving in marriage. When she reached the narrow hallway she was reminded that her grandmother was home with a sick headache. She was lying across the bed asleep so Janie tipped on out of the front door. Oh to be a pear tree—any tree in bloom! With kissing bees singing of the beginning of the world! She was sixteen. She had glossy leaves and bursting buds and she wanted to struggle with life but it seemed to elude her. Where were the singing bees for her? Nothing on the place nor in her grandma’s house answered her. She searched as much of the world as she could from the top of the front steps and then went on down to the front gate and leaned over to gaze up and down the road. Looking, waiting, breathing short with impatience. Waiting for the world to be made.
Through pollinated air she saw a glorious being coming up the road. In her former blindness she had known him as shiftless Johnny Taylor, tall and lean. That was before the golden dust of pollen had beglamored his rags and her eyes.
In the last stages of Nanny’s sleep, she dreamed of voices. Voices far-off but persistent, and gradually coming nearer. Janie’s voice. Janie talking in whispery snatches with a male voice she couldn’t quite place. That brought her wide awake. She bolted upright and peered out of the window and saw Johnny Taylor lacerating her Janie with a kiss.
The old woman’s voice was so lacking in command and reproof, so full of crumbling dissolution,—that Janie half believed that Nanny had not seen her. So she extended herself outside of her dream and went inside of the house. That was the end of her childhood.
Nanny’s head and face looked like the standing roots of some old tree that had been torn away by storm. Foundation of ancient power that no longer mattered. The cooling palma christi leaves that Janie had bound about her grandma’s head with a white rag had wilted down and become part and parcel of the woman. Her eyes didn’t bore and pierce. They diffused and melted Janie, the room and the world into one comprehension.
“Janie, youse uh ’oman, now, so—”
“Naw, Nanny, naw Ah ain’t no real ’oman yet.”
The thought was too new and heavy for Janie. She fought it away.
Nanny closed her eyes and nodded a slow, weary affirmation many times before she gave it voice.
“Yeah, Janie, youse got yo’ womanhood on yuh. So Ah mout ez well tell yuh whut Ah been savin’ up for uh spell. Ah wants to see you married right away.”
“Me, married? Naw, Nanny, no ma’am! Whut Ah know ’bout uh husband?”
“Whut Ah seen just now is plenty for me, honey, Ah don’t want no trashy nigger, no breath-and-britches, lak Johnny Taylor usin’ yo’ body to wipe his foots on.”
Nanny’s words made Janie’s kiss across the gatepost seem like a manure pile after a rain.
“Look at me, Janie. Don’t set dere wid yo’ head hung down. Look at yo’ ole grandma!” Her voice began snagging on the prongs of her feelings. “Ah don’t want to be talkin’ to you lak dis. Fact is Ah done been on mah knees to mah Maker many’s de time askin’ please—for Him not to make de burden too heavy for me to bear.”
“Nanny, Ah just—Ah didn’t mean nothin’ bad.”
“Dat’s what makes me skeered. You don’t mean no harm. You don’t even know where harm is at. Ah’m ole now. Ah can’t be always guidin’ yo’ feet from harm and danger. Ah wants to see you married right away.”
“Who Ah’m goin’ tuh marry off-hand lak dat? Ah don’t know nobody.”
“De Lawd will provide. He know Ah done bore de burden in de heat uh de day. Somebody done spoke to me ’bout you long time ago. Ah ain’t said nothin’ ’cause dat wasn’t de way Ah placed you. Ah wanted yuh to school out and pick from a higher bush and a sweeter berry. But dat ain’t yo’ idea, Ah see.”
“Nanny, who—who dat been askin’ you for me?”
“Brother Logan Killicks. He’s a good man, too.”
“Naw, Nanny, no ma’am! Is dat whut he been hangin’ round here for? He look like some ole skullhead in de grave yard.”
The older woman sat bolt upright and put her feet to the floor, and thrust back the leaves from her face.
“So you don’t want to marry off decent like, do yuh? You just wants to hug and kiss and feel around with first one man and then another, huh? You wants to make me suck de same sorrow yo’ mama did, eh? Mah ole head ain’t gray enough. Mah back ain’t bowed enough to suit yuh!”
The vision of Logan Killicks was desecrating the pear tree, but Janie didn’t know how to tell Nanny that. She merely hunched over and pouted at the floor.
“Yes, ma’am.”
“You answer me when Ah speak. Don’t you set dere poutin’ wid me after all Ah done went through for you!”
She slapped the girl’s face violently, and forced her head back so that their eyes met in struggle. With her hand uplifted for the second blow she saw the huge tear that welled up from Janie’s heart and stood in each eye. She saw the terrible agony and the lips tightened down to hold back the cry and desisted. Instead she brushed back the heavy hair from Janie’s face and stood there suffering and loving and weeping internally for both of them.
“Come to yo’ Grandma, honey. Set in her lap lak yo’ use tuh. Yo’ Nanny wouldn’t harm a hair uh yo’ head. She don’t want nobody else to do it neither if she kin help it. Honey, de white man is de ruler of everything as fur as Ah been able tuh find out. Maybe it’s some place way off in de ocean where de black man is in power, but we don’t know nothin’ but what we see. So de white man throw down de load and tell de nigger man tuh pick it up. He pick it up because he have to, but he don’t tote it. He hand it to his womenfolks. De nigger woman is de mule uh de world so fur as Ah can see. Ah been prayin’ fuh it tuh be different wid you.
Lawd, Lawd, Lawd!”
For a long time she sat rocking with the girl held tightly to her sunken breast. Janie’s long legs dangled over one arm of the chair and the long braids of her hair swung low on the other side. Nanny half sung, half sobbed a running chant-prayer over the head of the weeping girl.
“Lawd have mercy! It was a long time on de way but Ah reckon it had to come. Oh Jesus! Do, Jesus! Ah done de best Ah could.”
Finally, they both grew calm.
“Janie, how long you been ’lowin’ Johnny Taylor to kiss you?”
“Only dis one time, Nanny. Ah don’t love him at all. Whut made me do it is—oh, Ah don’t know.”
“Thank yuh, Massa Jesus.”
“Ah ain’t gointuh do it no mo’, Nanny. Please don’t make me marry Mr. Killicks.”
“ ’Tain’t Logan Killicks Ah wants you to have, baby, it’s protection. Ah ain’t gittin’ ole, honey. Ah’m done ole. One mornin’ soon, now, de angel wid de sword is gointuh stop by here. De day and de hour is hid from me, but it won’t be long. Ah ast de Lawd when you was uh infant in mah arms to let me stay here till you got grown. He done spared me to see de day. Mah daily prayer now is tuh let dese golden moments rolls on a few days longer till Ah see you safe in life.”
“Lemme wait, Nanny, please, jus’ a lil bit mo’.”
“Don’t think Ah don’t feel wid you, Janie, ’cause Ah do. Ah couldn’t love yuh no more if Ah had uh felt yo’ birth pains mahself. Fact uh de matter, Ah loves yuh a whole heap more’n Ah do yo’ mama, de one Ah did birth. But you got to take in consideration you ain’t no everyday chile like most of ’em. You ain’t got no papa, you might jus’ as well say no mama, for de good she do yuh. You ain’t got nobody but me. And mah head is ole and tilted towards de grave. Neither can you stand alone by yo’self. De thought uh you bein’ kicked around from pillar tuh post is uh hurtin’ thing. Every tear you drop squeezes a cup uh blood outa mah heart. Ah got tuh try and do for you befo’ mah head is cold.”
A sobbing sigh burst out of Janie. The old woman answered her with little soothing pats of the hand.
“You know, honey, us colored folks is branches without roots and that makes things come round in queer ways. You in particular. Ah was born back due in slavery so it wasn’t for me to fulfill my dreams of whut a woman oughta be and to do. Dat’s one of de hold-backs of slavery. But nothing can’t stop you from wishin’. You can’t beat nobody down so low till you can rob ’em of they will. Ah didn’t want to be used for a work-ox and a brood-sow and Ah didn’t want mah daughter used dat way neither. It sho wasn’t mah will for things to happen lak they did. Ah even hated de way you was born. But, all de same Ah said thank God, Ah got another chance. Ah wanted to preach a great sermon about colored women sittin’ on high, but they wasn’t no pulpit for me. Freedom found me wid a baby daughter in mah arms, so Ah said Ah’d take a broom and a cook-pot and throw up a highway through de wilderness for her. She would expound what Ah felt. But somehow she got lost offa de highway and next thing Ah knowed here you was in de world. So whilst Ah was tendin’ you of nights Ah said Ah’d save de text for you. Ah been waitin’ a long time, Janie, but nothin’ Ah been through ain’t too much if you just take a stand on high ground lak Ah dreamed.”
Old Nanny sat there rocking Janie like an infant and thinking back and back. Mind-pictures brought feelings, and feelings dragged out dramas from the hollows of her heart.
“Dat mornin’ on de big plantation close to Savannah, a rider come in a gallop tellin’ ’bout Sherman takin’ Atlanta. Marse Robert’s son had done been kilt at Chickamauga. So he grabbed his gun and straddled his best horse and went off wid de rest of de gray-headed men and young boys to drive de Yankees back into Tennessee.
“They was all cheerin’ and cryin’ and shoutin’ for de men dat was ridin’ off. Ah couldn’t see nothin’ cause yo’ mama wasn’t but a week old, and Ah was flat uh mah back. But pretty soon he let on he forgot somethin’ and run into mah cabin and made me let down mah hair for de last time. He sorta wropped his hand in it, pulled mah big toe, lak he always done, and was gone after de rest lak lightnin’. Ah heard ’em give one last whoop for him. Then de big house and de quarters got sober and silent.
“It was de cool of de evenin’ when Mistis come walkin’ in mah door. She throwed de door wide open and stood dere lookin’ at me outa her eyes and her face. Look lak she been livin’ through uh hundred years in January without one day of spring. She come stood over me in de bed.
“ ‘Nanny, Ah come to see that baby uh yourn.’
“Ah tried not to feel de breeze off her face, but it got so cold in dere dat Ah was freezin’ to death under the kivvers. So Ah couldn’t move right away lak Ah aimed to. But Ah knowed Ah had to make haste and do it.
“ ‘You better git dat kivver offa dat youngun and dat quick!’ she clashed at me. ‘Look lak you don’t know who is Mistis on dis plantation, Madam. But Ah aims to show you.’
“By dat time I had done managed tuh unkivver mah baby enough for her to see de head and face.
“ ‘Nigger, whut’s yo’ baby doin’ wid gray eyes and yaller hair?’ She begin tuh slap mah jaws ever which a’way. Ah never felt the fust ones ’cause Ah wuz too busy gittin’ de kivver back over mah chile. But dem last lick burnt me lak fire. Ah had too many feelin’s tuh tell which one tuh follow so Ah didn’t cry and Ah didn’t do nothin’ else. But then she kept on astin me how come mah baby look white. She asted me dat maybe twenty-five or thirty times, lak she got tuh sayin’ dat and couldn’t help herself. So Ah told her, ‘Ah don’t know nothin’ but what Ah’m told tuh do, ’cause Ah ain’t nothin’ but uh nigger and uh slave.’
“Instead of pacifyin’ her lak Ah thought, look lak she got madder. But Ah reckon she was tired and wore out ’cause she didn’t hit me no more. She went to de foot of de bed and wiped her hands on her handksher. ‘Ah wouldn’t dirty mah hands on yuh. But first thing in de mornin’ de overseer will take you to de whippin’ post and tie you down on yo’ knees and cut de hide offa yo’ yaller back. One hundred lashes wid a raw-hide on yo’ bare back. Ah’ll have you whipped till de blood run down to yo’ heels! Ah mean to count de licks mahself. And if it kills you Ah’ll stand de loss. Anyhow, as soon as dat brat is a month old Ah’m going to sell it offa dis place.’
“She flounced on off and let her wintertime wid me. Ah knowed mah body wasn’t healed, but Ah couldn’t consider dat. In de black dark Ah wrapped mah baby de best Ah knowed how and made it to de swamp by de river. Ah knowed de place was full uh moccasins and other bitin’ snakes, but Ah was more skeered uh whut was behind me. Ah hide in dere day and night and suckled de baby every time she start to cry, for fear somebody might hear her and Ah’d git found. Ah ain’t sayin’ uh friend or two didn’t feel mah care. And den de Good Lawd seen to it dat Ah wasn’t taken. Ah don’t see how come mah milk didn’t kill mah chile, wid me so skeered and worried all de time. De noise uh de owls skeered me; de limbs of dem cypress trees took to crawlin’ and movin’ round after dark, and two three times Ah heered panthers prowlin’ round. But nothin’ never hurt me ’cause de Lawd knowed how it was.
“Den, one night Ah heard de big guns boomin’ lak thunder. It kept up all night long. And de next mornin’ Ah could see uh big ship at a distance and a great stirrin’ round. So Ah wrapped Leafy up in moss and fixed her good in a tree and picked mah way on down to de landin’. The men was all in blue, and Ah heard people say Sherman was comin’ to meet de boats in Savannah, and all of us slaves was free. So Ah run got mah baby and got in quotation wid people and found a place Ah could stay.
“But it was a long time after dat befo’ de Big Surrender at Richmond. Den de big bell ring in Atlanta and all de men in gray uniforms had to go to Moultrie, and bury their swords in de ground to show they was never to fight about slavery no mo’. So den we knowed we was free.
“Ah wouldn’t marry nobody, though Ah could have uh heap uh times, cause Ah didn’t want nobody mistreating mah baby. So Ah got with some good white people and come down here in West Florida to work and make de sun shine on both sides of de street for Leafy.
“Mah Madam help me wid her just lak she been doin’ wid you. Ah put her in school when it got so it was a school to put her in. Ah was ’spectin’ to make a school teacher outa her.
“But one day she didn’t come home at de usual time and Ah waited and waited, but she never come all dat night. Ah took a lantern and went round askin’ everybody but nobody ain’t seen her. De next mornin’ she come crawlin’ in on her hands and knees. A sight to see. Dat school teacher had done hid her in de woods all night long, and he had done raped mah baby and run on off just before day.
“She was only seventeen, and somethin’ lak dat to happen! Lawd a’mussy! Look lak Ah kin see it all over again. It was a long time before she was well, and by dat time we knowed you was on de way. And after you was born she took to drinkin’ likker and stayin’ out nights. Couldn’t git her to stay here and nowhere else. Lawd knows where she is right now. She ain’t dead, ’cause Ah’d know it by mah feelings, but sometimes Ah wish she was at rest.
“And, Janie, maybe it wasn’t much, but Ah done de best Ah kin by you. Ah raked and scraped and bought dis lil piece uh land so you wouldn’t have to stay in de white folks’ yard and tuck yo’ head befo’ other chillun at school. Dat was all right when you was little. But when you got big enough to understand things, Ah wanted you to look upon yo’self. Ah don’t want yo’ feathers always crumpled by folks throwin’ up things in yo’ face. And Ah can’t die easy thinkin’ maybe de menfolks white or black is makin’ a spit cup outa you: Have some sympathy fuh me. Put me down easy, Janie, Ah’m a cracked plate.”

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