Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Wednesday With Words

I'm joining Dawn at Ladydusk for Wednesday with Words.

This month I've been reading Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe.  I read this book years before I had Callie.  I don't remember what prompted it then, but I remember being profoundly moved by it.  I thought if everyone could read this book, surely it would change the attitudes that some people have towards those of different ethnic groups.  I also remember thinking when I had children they were going to read this book!

So here we are and Callie is old enough and we are studying the War Between the States {otherwise known as the Civil War, and as my Southern husband likes to call it, the War of Northern Aggression :)} in American history.

There are so many lines in this book that I find moving, but the following, written towards the beginning of the book,  I found not only moving, but absolutely fascinating.  What an interesting thought about the continent of people who have suffered so severely for so long.

"If ever Africa shall show an elevated and cultivated race,-and come it must, some time, her turn to figure in the great drama of human improvement,-life will awake there with a gorgeousness and splendor of which our cold western tribes faintly have conceived. In that far-off mystic land of gold, and gems, and spices, and waving palms, and wondrous flowers, and miraculous fertility, will awake new forms of art, new styles of splendor; and the negro race, no longer despised and trodden down, will perhaps, show forth some of the latest and most magnificent revelations of human life.  Certainly they will, in their gentleness, their lowly docility of heart, their aptitude to repose on a superior mind and rest on a higher power, their child-like simplicity of affection, and facility of forgiveness.  In all these they will exhibit the highest form of the peculiarly Christian life, and, perhaps, as God chasteneth whom he loveth, he hath chosen poor Africa in the furnace of affliction, to make her the highest and noblest in that kingdom which he will set up, when every other kingdom has been tried, and failed; for the first shall be last, and the last first."

I am close to the end.  It's making me crazy because I can't remember how it all turns out. 

The other quote that I wanted to share I read last night.  I wonder if I would have this perspective after being beaten half to death because of refusing to beat someone else?

Tom is talking to a fellow slave, Cassy, after a severe beating. Because of their experiences Cassy is convinced there is no God or if there is He has turned against them.

"Ye said the Lord took sides against us, because He lets us be 'bused and knocked round; but ye see what come on His own Son,-the blessed Lord of Glory,-wa'nt He allays poor? and have we, any on us, yet come so low as He come?  The Lord han't forgot us, I'm sartin' o' that ar'.  If we suffer with Him, we shall also reign, Scripture says; but, if we deny Him, He also will deny us.  Didn't they all suffer?-the Lord and all His?  It tells how they was stoned and sawn asunder, and wandered about in sheep-skins and goat-skins, and was destitute, afflicted, tormented.  Sufferin' a'nt no reason to make us think the Lord's turned agin' us; but jest the contrary, if only we hold on to Him, and doesn't give up to sin."

The language differences may make it a little tricky for Callie, but I hope she will like the book even a little as much as I do.


  1. I agree - very moving and thought-provoking quotes! That book has been a favorite for Rachel, Courtney and Erica. They love it! I need to read it, too. I know it will be emotionally difficult to read in parts, but it can't be worse than Beloved. (Although Beloved was a masterfully written novel, I don't recommend it for Callie!)

    1. Yes, it is emotional. Especially as a mother. But it's worth it!