top of page

Sages and Pages

shutterstock_1896713962.jpg
Post: Welcome

What Would Mary Lumpkin Do

Updated: Mar 27


For him to give you his children

Without choice or pleasure

For him to give you his land

Born to hold us captive


Your eyes must have shown your dreams

And he wanted to ground them to dirt

Your walk must have shown your resistance

And he wanted to prune it from your roots

Your mouth must have shown your intellect

And he wanted to till it into submission


I think of that land as an inheritance

Called forward by power and violence


You took that inheritance

Along with your vision

To open its doors


You took that inheritance

Along with your defiance

To provide sovereignty


You took that inheritance

Along with your wisdom

To create edification


What he saw in you was his property

So you used property to instill humanity




I recently learned about Mary Lumpkin, a formerly enslaved woman who took one of the cruelest slave jails nicknamed "devil's half acre' and turned it into a seminary for formerly enslaved people.


The slaveholder who gave her the prison had died, and Mary, who fled to freedom during the civil war never wanted the prison.


Eventually, it would become Virginia University, which remains one of the oldest HBCUs in the country.


You can read more about the difficult, complex, and rich life of Mary Lumpkin here. And if you're like me and want to read even more, you can buy The Devil's Half Acre: The Untold Story of How One Woman Liberated the South's Most Notorious Slave Jail here.





5 views

Recent Posts

See All

Comentarios


Post: Blog2 Post
bottom of page