June 30, 1787 : The Train To Freedom Begins
On a warm Saturday evening, the trackless railroad secured it’s very first passengers and the flight for freedom amongst the captive slaves began. The tracks would be hidden in some plain site others in the murky mist of swamps and darkened forests. Yet its track linked one to another until the final stop on that dangerous journey ended with freedom’s bell. African American slaves had been rebelling and escaping from bondage ever since the very first chain was placed on their bodies. You see they were born free and captured then sent off to a foreign land away from all that was familiar to them. Then these proud people were beaten and subjected to the evils of enslavement. Their past cultures were forcibly and physically taken from them by cruel and unusual acts of extreme punishment. Yet they still kept within them the flight for freedom. Even though the lands were unfamiliar to them the fact that the North Star still shone brightly in the skies gave them hope of returning to their days of freedom and delight.
So today, on June 30, 2017, we celebrate the 230th anniversary of the Underground Railroad. Without this incredible system of travel conceived in liberty and dedicated to the thought that truly all men, women, boys, and girls of darkening hue were equal in the sight of One God, to any other person on this land enslaved in this land of limited liberty and justice dedicated to white men only. Who knows just how long our people would have remained enslaved and subjected to the terrors of bondage? Thank God almighty for Harriett Tubman, whose courageous actions on the railroad to freedom led over 3000 of her brothers and sisters to the land of glory. Had not Frederick Douglass, he, himself a passenger on the freedom train railroad. Once freed Frederick Douglass managed aspects of this glorious venture as a conductor on one of the final stops to freedom. Thomas Garrett, a Quaker, whose religious convictions found just cause to risk community standing as well as his own life to support this railroad of glory. William Still, whose work in Philadelphia was essential to the success of the Underground Railroad. Mr. Still, is even referred to as the Father of the Underground Railroad. So many more names could be written about who risked life and limb both black and white men and women who simply made up their minds that slavery was an admonition to the God they worshiped.
So each of them we honor today, as joesmokethoughts salute the anniversary of the Underground Railroad. We no longer have the need to lay in wait for freedom in darkened corners, or murky marshes, or in cold basements, or root cellars. Today, we can work in the light of day for gain the equality that our ancestors sought through many trials and tribulations. We should never take for granted what was done for us and we certainly must always put these warriors on the highest plateaus of recognition. For without them we certainly would’ve suffered more pain and oppression from those that sought to steal and blanket any chance of us having free thought. God Bless and Happy Anniversary to the Underground Railroad, and those tracks of freedoms are still etched into the annals of American History.