A weekly blog intended to share and preserve the most valued life lessons from the minds of the most experienced among us. The "hour late" represents the later stages of life. I will be speaking with people in their 70's and older, to find out what they think is important and worth passing on to future generations.
Even after exceeding expectations for black people in the south by becoming wealthy landowners, Joe's family could not escape the harsh realities of the times.
It is a miracle to our ingenuity that we as black people in the United States survived. We are truly a miracle. That's not to say that we haven't gone through hell to get where we are.
I had an uncle who was lynched down in Georgia. My relatives always talked about him and they would warn all us kids not to be like him. All he did was aggravate the white folks because he wanted to do something with his life. My family would tell me not to be like him because he let everyone know that he was just as good as white people.
They hung him up on a tree so everybody for miles around could come to see.
In terms of time, we are not far removed from the days when a black man could be killed for thinking of himself as equal to a white man. Joe's uncle was not a murderer, thief, or a criminal in anyway. He was simply a black man who refused to think of himself as inferior to any man.
Joe's uncles knew that there was a chance he would be lynched for speaking his mind, but he spoke it anyway. He chose to die rather than think of himself as inferior. It may seem extreme to some, but it is a martyr worthy sacrifice to me.
How many of us can say we have the courage to be who we truly are, even in the face of death?
Name: Joe Webster
Born: 1933. Detroit, Michigan
Roles: Father, Grand Father, African American, Indian, Philanthropist