But Not Her Child

I’m not a radical person.

I never really have been.

And I never thought much about slavery.

And it seems odd that what brought me to where I am now was a curiosity about my grandparents, two white people born long after slavery’s end.

But here I am.

Reading these words from a Will:

Thirdly to his daughter Francis Redgell one negro women Named Bede but not her child which she is pregnant with which is previously disposed of to his son Hansel Beckwith. “Beckwith, Henry Of Marion District, Will Typescript (Mss Will: Book 1, Page 141; Estate Packet: Roll 44) (2 Frames). Date: 5/28/1829.” South Carolina Will Transcripts (Microcopy No 9) (S108093), Accessed 17 Sept. 2017.

Please stop expecting me to entertain the the benevolent master trope or any other kinder, gentler telling of chattel slavery.