LESSONS IN MERCY
“He gave me something I didn’t deserve.”
Historical - a rich and riveting memoir of the extraordinary life of an ordinary man. Authentic accounts garnered from official census records, newspapers, magazines, the family Bible and from ancestry.com. Add to these sources, hours of oral history and warm recollections shared by family and friends for a work of literary excellence.
Fiction - While based on a true story, some names were changed to protect privacy. Others remained unchanged to preserve history.
In America, the Black experience is complicated. Call it the #LWB (Living while Black) Challenge.
While in 2020 a global pandemic raged, cries against racial injustice rang out. Marchers chanted, “Say her name – Breonna Taylor”, “I can’t breathe – George Floyd”, and JWB (jogging while Black), Ahmaud Arbery.
Relatable- This could be any of our stories.
We all know somebody dealing with issues like bullying, guilt, rage, and unforgiveness. Not everybody though can point to someone who met their challenges head-on; who experienced tragic loss and abandonment, love/hate relationships; fell down, got up, fought, won, lost, and found lessons in the losses.
An Ordinary person living life in an extraordinary way.
Setting – The story begins in Greensboro NC which during the early 20th century, was hailed as the flagship of Southern cities because of its liberal views on racial, educational, economic, and housing equality. Setting shifts to Down East, known as “God’s earth”. And home to numerous Native American communities with names like Ahoskie, Pembroke, Lumberton, and Waccamaw. Steeped in rich cultural traditions, lush, rolling, green hillsides are met by golden grain and white sands bathed by the gentle waves of the Atlantic.
Hundreds of hog farms dot the area, between small commercial fishing businesses and large military installations located along the Atlantic.
After Godliness and land ownership, education is most important, followed by pride, dignity, and heritage.
“I never met a Herring who wasn’t proud to be one”.
A Supernatural Being
Teacher extraordinaire! -- students would look up to him, respect him, and call him Papa
Life experiences would become his teaching tools. And the light came on! – acknowledgment of the supernatural spirit within himself.