His Father’s Wise Words Are The Key To Surviving Anti-Blackness

Police forced him to let her die and made him watch. Consumed with grief, his faith was shaken. But then he remembered his enslaved father’s words.

His Father’s Wise Words Are The Key To Surviving Anti-Blackness
Via Wikimedia Commons

Civil Rights activist Daniel Smith was one of the last people alive who had an enslaved parent. Smith’s father was born enslaved in the early 1860s. Before he died he imparted something important for us all to remember.

Throughout his life, Smith faced discrimination. He was nearly killed by the KKK. He marched on Washington with MLK and faced trauma as a young adult so devastating it shook him to his core.

While in college, Smith tried rescuing a white girl from drowning, but police ordered him to stop. She died because they couldn’t fathom Smith performing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on her.

Consumed with grief, Smith remembered his father’s powerful words.

When Smith was a child his father told him, “We came from the strongest of the strong. We survived the ships.'"

Smith carried these words with him forever.

Smith’s father refused to let enslavement break him, nor would he allow his son to be ruled by anti-Blackness.

Take time to get to know your elders. We must know their stories so that when they pass, we know who we carry with us and who they carried with them. Our ancestors are fighting for liberation with us.

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