Thursday, April 17, 2008

Meeting David Wilson

"Meeting David Wilson" is a documentary that follows David Wilson on his mission to discover to find more about his family roots in Caswell, North Carolina. That mission includes David Wilson, the descendant of slaves, meeting David Wilson, the descendant of the owner of those slaves.

I missed the airing on MSNBC last Friday. I surf the television schedule hoping there would be a rerun. Unfortunately, they did not air the show again but luckily they did post it online. However, when I went back to the MSNBC page to find a link for the video, I discovered it was no longer there. Instead they are promoting the DVD.

I am glad I watched it. It was an amazing story that inspired me to visit my ancestor's homes sooner rather than later. It brought out points I hadn't considered in my own research such as trying to envision the hardships of the life they led. David Wilson was able to work in a tobacco field, a feat I will not try to recreate in the cotton fields of Mississippi or Tennessee. I am not that dedicated. But I was impressed with Wilson's dedication. He was also able to find an abandoned slave quarter that could have been lived in by his ancestors. That scene was haunting. He also made the trip to Africa and visited the slave fort that housed two million Africans destined for slavery.

After watching the video, one impression was engraved into my spirit. It wasn't anger as some expressed during the video. It was gratitude that I have "choice." That sentence sounds so inane but the emotion it evokes in me is monumental. I can choose where I live, what I eat, who I marry, where I work. I can keep my children close. No one can come and separate me from them. Tears comes to my eyes even as I write this. This is what the USA was supposed to mean for everyone born on its soil. Now it actually does. Yes, I know America is not perfect and there are still lots of inequities. But think about it. A man is running for president who just happens to be black and he has a good chance of winning especially if we as Americans judge him not by the color of his skin but by the content of his character. It makes me so very proud to be an American right now.

2 comments:

A. Spence said...

check out this blog. It has the discussion after.

http://hastalosgatosquierenzapatos.blogspot.com/2008/04/did-you-see-this-last-friday.html

Jennifer said...

Thanks for the link. The documentary left an impression on me.