Freedom Winter

Freedom Winter

On February 7, 2013,
Mississippi officially abolished

slavery by notifying
the U.S. Archivist that it

approved the 13th Amendment.
It took a professor

of Neurobiology, Dr. Ranjan Batra,
to uncover

the “oversight.” Funny how
the mind works—

and history too in its magical
twists of irony.

Someone “just forgot” for
“whatever reason,”

according to Dr. Batra. It’s progress,
I must admit.

My brown daughter was nine
at the time, and

officially no longer three-
fifths a person,

nor chattel, not ruled
by partus sequitur ventrem—this

West African princess
who now possessed her bones,

muscles, and skin as her very
own—each a thousand

years in the long, complex chain
of human taking,

breaking, and making.


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