Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Lady Who Crossed Three Centuries

"Alice was born a slave in 1686 and remained a slave throughout her one hundred and sixteen years of life.

When she died in 1802, with her died a good part of the memory of Africans in America. Alice did not know how to read or write, but she was filled to the brim with voices that told and retold legends from far away and events lived nearby. Some of those stories came from the slaves she helped to escape.

At the age of ninety, she went blind.

At one hundred and two, she recovered her sight. “It was God,” she said. “He wouldn’t let me down.”

They called her Alice of Dunks Ferry. Serving her master, she collected tolls on the ferry that carried passengers back and forth across the Delaware River.

When the passengers, all white, made fun of this ancient woman, she left them stuck on the other side of the river. They called to her, shouted at her, but she paid no heed. The woman who had been blind was deaf."

~Eduardo Galeano, Children of the Days

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