TwitterFacebook

Ta-Nehisi Coates: Slavery Is a Love Song

The human cost
History • Views: 27,733

Ta-Nehisi Coates responds to a stunningly immoral post on Thomas Jefferson at right wing blog The Volokh Conspiracy, with a moving letter written after emancipation by a former slave: Slavery Is a Love Song.

This is a letter that I often turn to. It was written to Laura Spicer by her husband, who was sold away, much as Jefferson sold people away. After emancipation she repeatedly tried to rekindle their love, despite the fact that the husband had now remarried and formed another family. In this letter the husband tells us what it means to be among the refuse of history:

I would much rather you would get married to some good man, for every time I gits a letter from you it tears me all to pieces. The reason why I have not written you before, in a long time, is because your letters disturbed me so very much.

You know I love my children. I treats them good as a Father can treat his children; and I do a good deal of it for you. I am sorry to hear that Lewellyn, my poor little son, have had such bad health. I would come and see you but I know you could not bear it. I want to see and I don’t want to see you. I love you just as well as I did the last day I saw you, and it will not do for you and I to meet.

I am married, and my wife have two children, and if you and I meets it would make a very dissatisfied family. Send me some of the children’s hair in a separate paper with their names on the paper. Will you please git married, as long as I am married. My dear, you know the Lord knows both of our hearts. You know it never was our wishes to be separated from each other, and it never was our fault.

Oh, I can see you so plain, at any-time, I had rather anything to had happened to me most than ever to have been parted from you and the children. As I am, I do not know which I love best, you or Anna. If I was to die, today or tomorrow, I do not think I would die satisfied till you tell me you will try and marry some good, smart man that will take care of you and the children; and do it because you love me; and not because I think more of the wife I have got then I do of you. The woman is not born that feels as near to me as you do.

You feel this day like myself. Tell them they must remember they have a good father and one that cares for them and one that thinks about them every day-My very heart did ache when reading your very kind and interesting letter.

Laura I do not think I have change any at all since I saw you last.-I think of you and my children every day of my life. Laura I do love you the same. My love to you never have failed. Laura, truly, I have got another wife, and I am very sorry, that I am. You feels and seems to me as much like my dear loving wife, as you ever did Laura. You know my treatment to a wife and you know how I am about my children. You know I am one man that do love my children….

Jump to top

Help support Little Green Footballs!

Subscribe now for ad-free access!

Contact Us LGF Pages

This button leads to the main index of LGF Pages, our user-submitted articles. You can post your own LGF Pages simply by registering a free account with us.

Create a Page

This is the LGF Pages posting bookmarklet. To use it, drag this button to your browser's bookmark bar, and title it 'LGF Pages' (or whatever you like). Then browse to a site you want to post, select some text on the page to use for a quote, click the bookmarklet, and the Pages posting window will appear with the title, text, and any embedded video or audio files already filled in, ready to go.

Or... you can just click this button to open the Pages posting window right away.

Last updated: 2015-06-25 5:21 pm PDT

LGF User's Guide RSS Feeds
Recent Pages
Paul Canning
Racist @Redbull Obama Event in Russia
Racism against black people in Russia has been making news lately because of the 2018 World Cup. The Guardian reports about worries concerning the reception non-white players and supporters could receive in Russia. A recent report by the Fare ...

5 hours, 12 minutes ago
Views: 227 • Comments: 1
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
Thanos
6 Stabbed at Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade, Police Say
An Orthodox Jew who stabbed marchers at a Jerusalem gay pride parade 10 years ago launched another knife attack at the same type of parade in the same city Thursday, stabbing and wounding six people who were on the ...

16 hours, 50 minutes ago
Views: 165 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 1
William Lewis
1000 Musicians “Learn To Fly”
So this gentleman in Cesena, Italy, really really wants the Foo Fighters to play there. So what does he do? He organizes an event of 1000 guitarists, bass players, drummers & singers all performing the Foo Fighter's hit, "Learn to ...

16 hours, 53 minutes ago
Views: 155 • Comments: 2
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 2
Eclectic Cyborg
MS GOP rep campaigns on pro Confederate Flag platform
So this showed up at my house today, it's an election mailer from one Jeffrey Guice who is running for re-election to the Mississippi State Senate. As you can see, it included an interesting detail... So basically he's taking pride ...

17 hours, 58 minutes ago
Views: 332 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 48 • Rating: 2
EiMitch
Cracked: 5 Sworn Enemies Who Formed Inspiring Friendships
I was catching-up with Cracked articles. I found an obvious click-bait article, "4 Sexual Preferences That Only Recently Became Taboo": cracked.com Knowing that, I read it anyway. From there, I read a depressing article, "5 Ways College Screws Over Poor ...

23 hours, 26 minutes ago
Views: 205 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
Skip Intro
Windows 10 is out. Help a guy out, please.
So I downloaded the Win 10 ISO image today, and started the install. The first thing I come across is a screen asking what I want to keep, my apps, data, and program settings, my data and program settings, or ...

2 days, 2 hours ago
Views: 507 • Comments: 6
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
FemNaziBitch
Donald Trump’s Lawyer Threatens Reporter Over Ex-Wife’s Allegations: ‘You Cannot Rape Your Spouse’
A lawyer and spokesman for current Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump issued a series of vulgar threats to a reporter on Monday, while falsely claiming that it was legal for a husband to rape his wife in New York. ...

2 days, 5 hours ago
Views: 358 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 1 • Rating: 0
Great White Snark
Huffington Post Arabic-Smart Outreach, Sure To Infuriate Bigots
Dirct Link: Huffington Post Arabic - Kudos! Good to see this. The link takes you right there, but for us non arabic readers, a helpful translate panel comes right up. You who do read arabic can judge the content, ...

4 days, 1 hour ago
Views: 664 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 19 • Rating: 1
Iwouldprefernotto
More Edited PP Videos
NYT -- More Edited PP Videos in the Pipeline The activist behind the videos, David Daleiden, has said he has enough covertly recorded footage for perhaps a dozen videos that he could release, one a week, for the next few ...

4 days, 4 hours ago
Views: 377 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 2
Predaka
Swedish Right Plans Gay Pride March Through Muslim Areas Of Stockholm
haaretz.com From the article: Swedish nationalists are planning a gay 'pride' march through Muslim-majority districts in the country's capital, according to media reports and a dedicated Facebook page. The march, called 'Pride Järva,' is scheduled to take place on July ...

4 days, 17 hours ago
Views: 690 • Comments: 10
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 1

► LGF Headlines

  • Loading...

► Tweeted Articles

  • Loading...

► Tweeted Pages

  • Loading...

► Top 10 Comments

  • Loading...

► Bottom Comments

  • Loading...

► Recent Comments

  • Loading...

► Tools/Info

► Tag Cloud

 Frank says:

I can gross out anybody in this room. -- Said during a concert at Mount Holyoke College in the early 1970s.