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The Great Migration: One family's journey (For my niece Adrianna)



Summerton, South Carolina 1861

He is born half-Black half-White: free in a time of pain and chains
Yet grows to be a man of power and influence who owns the land that birthed him

It is 1910. His daughter is born into a life of privilege, yet has before her a life of limits.
She quietly and secretly is sent away to give birth to a son in the world of 1930.

Her son is sent to fight in a police action; a Purple Heart is among his medals
He comes back to his own country
Tries to get a sandwich at a diner near Ft. Jackson..
And is turned away
He is northern-bound in the year of 1953.

Detroit, Michigan 1961

He meets and marries a beautiful local girl. Their children have never seen a Southern sun
Or felt its heat on their backs
By the time they "go south"
They are grown and finally
See the places they've heard about. Or read of in history books...


Canton, Michigan 2005

His daughter has a little girl who laughs and plays
She loves kindergarten and her friends. She loves to ask her
parents about the Olden days- the nineteen seventies.

Maybe one day she'll take a trip to Summerton.
I hope she holds my hand as she walks the back roads,
Feels the dust on her feet.
Looks over the land and sees the past that is tied to her future.

Maybe one day she will go
To a place she does not yet know
Exists.

It is her home, after all
Summerton patiently waits for her.
The journey continues.



About this poem

I wrote this poem for my niece Adrianna, who is now almost 23 years old. I enjoy family history and wanted to share a bit about our family and the Great Migration.

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Written on May 03, 2005

Submitted by Ceci2you on December 28, 2021

Modified on April 03, 2023

1:30 min read
128

Quick analysis:

Scheme A XX XB XCDXB D DXXCX D XEX AXXE FFX XEX
Closest metre Iambic hexameter
Characters 1,609
Words 297
Stanzas 11
Stanza Lengths 1, 2, 2, 5, 1, 5, 1, 3, 4, 3, 3

Cecilia Marie Holland

Native Detroiter, graduate of the University of Detroit-Mercy. I am a coffee lover, cool auntie and I love family history, African-American history and genetic genealogy. more…

All Cecilia Marie Holland poems | Cecilia Marie Holland Books

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