They say a picture can tell a thousand words. Yet, it can't reveal the prayers of a thousand souls. Every part of this picture tells a different story, depending on who the narrator is. Every person that has walked under these trees has prayed another prayer. When I see this picture, I think about the ancestors that prayed for the bloodline that followed them. The hopes and dreams that they had for themselves and the future generations that came from them.
I understand that I may not be living out the prayers that I have prayed for myself, but the blessings they have prayed for me. I know that I can stand up because I am standing on their backs. I understand God is answering their prayer for elevation, protection, covering, anointing, favor, grace, mercy, and favor for my life. As I look at this picture, I see so many things, good and bad. I see a beautiful picture with lovely trees and a big beautiful home.
Nevertheless, I feel that so many bad things could have happened to my people here (I don't know where this place is, nor can I confirm, however, I know places similar that this is held to be confirmed). There is something about a divine connection to ancestry; it will not allow you to forget. As you stand on their backs and they push you forward, you can feel the intense emotions of pain, determination, strength, faith, and forgiveness. You can see a picture, yet you can't hear the prayer. You can feel the gut filled emotions, yet you can't feel the raw pain. Yes, I wish I could have listened to their prayers because then, you get the vivid picture painted for you; of the real story in that prayer.
Black History Month Wisdom
I want to share a wisdom story about one of my family members, David "Scoop" Willamson of the rock Hill 9 for Black history month. Wisdom is about passing on knowledge to others.
"Full of nerves and anxiety, the guys kept their heads up as they passed by cop cars lining the road to downtown Rock Hill. They were on a mission, they were going to make a statement for racial equality. Grabbing picket signs and joining the other protestors, they rallied the courage before stepping into McCrory’s Variety Store, keeping in mind the whole time that they would resist reacting with violence.
The sit-in movement started a year before in Greensboro, NC, but when African American students would get arrested for sitting at white-only counters, they would be bailed out of jail for $100 or more. Over a year’s time this became so costly that something needed to be done – both to save different Civil Rights groups money as well as make a more serious statement.
The ten students that marched to McCrory’s, now called the Friendship 9, decided to refuse to pay bail – the first students to ever do this. Sitting down at the lunch counter that wintry Tuesday, the boys knew that they would be handcuffed, hauled out of the store and taken to jail. And that is exactly what happened.
The Friendship 9 consisted of Willie Edward McCleod, James Frank Wells, Clarence Henner Graham, Thomas Walter Gaither, David “Scoop” Williamson, Robert Lewis McCullough, Mack Cartier Workman, Willie Thomas “Dub” Massey, John Alexander Gaines and Charles Edward Taylor."
"A picture can tell a thousand words, but what was the prayer......"- Alston Shropshire
*I do not own the rights to the picture or content of the Rock Hill 9*