My name is Dr. Mamie Smith, author of An American Story: My Family and Yours. Why did I write this book?
It began several years ago with the desire to leave a legacy for my family: The Fergusons and the Dotsons, my paternal and maternal ancestry. However, as I delved into the history of these families, it was discovered that history could not be truly explored unless slavery was explored. It was not enough to write about slavery, the book had to include how I felt about slavery–not how society thinks I should feel about it, but how I actually felt about it. What did that entail? It meant reaching into the core of my mind, and lifting up and carving out emotions that had been buried for years. Why?
My parents taught me not to “wear racism on my sleeve,” not jump to conclusions when a white person says something negative about a black person, not paint “every little thing” with the brush of discrimination. That’s well and good, but in many instances, it caused me to ignore how racist remarks and attitudes really made me feel. Consequently, I did not deal with them. Mistake… unless these emotions are dealt with, they surface in many ways–some positive and some negative. Negative ones can be contained and balanced with a moral compass, but some individuals do not develop that compass, so, those feelings are expressed in crime, child and spousal abuse, deep-seated anger and hatred. Who loses? We all do! America is one the most violent countries in the western world. There are reasons for that:
- People of color do not deal emotionally and realistically with discrimination and racism.
- White Americans feel guilty about America’s treatment of people of color and its nasty history of slavery, but hide it with “slavery is in the past, stop talking about it!”
- Many white Americans feel slavery should still exist and are trying to take the country back there with feelings of superiority and words like “make America great again! when we all know that is a phrase for “make America white again!”
- Many black Americans pretend “all is well” when deep down they know it isn’t, so they harbor resentment, inferiority and bitterness.
My fellow Americans, we are in trouble. All of these issues have resulted in the election of a president whose administration seems to be governing (if the news reports are accurate) with deception, lies, corruption, racism, bigotry and a demeanor that attacks and denigrates a majority of the populace–black, yellow and white. The highest office in the country has been reduced to one scandal after another, criticism and deprecation.
A fact: people of color are a majority in this country, and that is not going to change in most of our lifetimes. Money, power and corruption will not change that, in spite of what many people are trying to do. That’s a reality! We have to look within ourselves, root out prejudice and bigotry, and find a way to love and support each other.
In many instances, the populace of America is carrying around emotional pain, fear and hatred. An American Story: My Family and Yours looks at that pain and hatred at a personal level and delves into the heart of a consciousness that keeps it growing. The inner self is explored and words like freedom, slavery and inner peace are expressively defined. It’s an honest, historical approach to a healing process for every individual. That approach contains developing a moral compass that says every individual must be treated equally, impartially and justly, irrespective of race, color, religion, gender and sexual orientation. We must learn to “live” the theme of this book: The freedoms we share, are based on the freedoms we embrace.
Here’s what the book looks like:
You have to read it to see what it says!