Friday, May 2, 2008

What I Did Yesterday...

“The past is not dead. In fact, it's not even past.” - William Faulkner

Drive just outside of Knoxville, through Oak Ridge (The Atomic City), and hang a left on 95. Go past the big church on the right, pass the nuclear research labs, and look really hard for the sign on the left side of the road. The one that reads "African Burial Ground." Drive up the hill and pull over at the turn around.

That's where you'll find the Wheat Community African Burial Ground. It's really no more than a empty field, a square of land surrounded by a fence in the middle of nowhere. But if you could dig up the top layer of soil, you'd start to find the bodies. This plot of land is where the slaves from Laurel Banks, an early 19th century plantation, are laid to rest. There are no markers, no headstones, no idea how many men, women, and children are buried there.








4 comments:

the hamster said...

one day, i'm gonna ride my bike over to tennessee. we'll skip over to kentucky so i can get a real honest to goodness bottle of bourbon whisky. and we'll sit on your front porch and talk about some of the things we'll know and we'll make up some of the rest. and then, when it gets really late, we'll just switch over to telling lies - or fiction tales: whichever lays easiest on your conscience. but on one of those days, i will ask you to take me to this place, to see the fencing and walk carefully on the leaves. there will be a good and awful silence there. and i will appreciate you then for showing it to me. i appreciate you now for showing it to us.

the hamster said...

sir, go look. i answered your request. or, at least, your sawyer-ly confusion.

Rachel said...

Wow. I've always wondered about that sign and what that place was. How sad.

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