Bridges to Birmingham

Sweet home Alabama
Where the skies are so blue
Sweet home Alabama
Lord, I’m coming home to you

So you take a road trip with family and arrive in Birmingham, Alabama where some of your roots began. Approaching the house, you think to yourself “this is really happening.”

As I walk into the living room the history lesson begins. Several pictures of second and third cousins and other family- I can’t keep up. Immediately I am confused, but for a good reason. I was finally learning some of my history.

With the blink of an eye, I hear myself (and other family) in my new found family as they introduce themselves and share stories. From the way they talk and walk to how they think and look; it all comes together and I’m taking it in.

Go back a few decades and the woman and story I’m mesmerized by is Mrs. Julia Bridges. This was my great, great grandmother; she just seemed regal with a no nonsense type of attitude – hmmm, that no nonsense sounds familiar :o).

Julia and her husband were slaves – no surprise here. Mr. Bridges killed his slave owner and that ended the story of these two “living happily ever after.” He had to go into hiding (of course he did), which I imagine happened to several other families during this time. Julia was left by herself with her family but persevered.

I honestly think I would have given up during this time, but now realize where my strength comes from. This story was within my own bloodline. It gets tough out there but this made me really think about what’s unbearable.

The eye opening moment was when I heard my cousin say, “We have been oppressed, depressed, compressed, and redressed. We can handle anything.”

And there you have it. Your history is rich and strong . . . learn it and don’t take it for granted. You can handle it Sun Taylor because Julia Bridges was able to.

Because the sun always comes out after the rain.

Sun Taylor

 

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