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Just the Facts, Please Ma'am

I seldom, if ever, take exception to a negative review. I, like a triangle of Brie cheese, am a gained taste. Those who read my words know I take particular care in world-building, painting a picture with a broad stroke for your brain to fill in the details, and my research. My research is en pointe. However, what I take exception to are people who read the work negatively, based on what they know, refusing to allow the joy of reading to embrace them, allowing new information to permeate and gift them with new knowledge.

It is a passion of mine to include a bit of Southern history in my works because I married a man from New Jersey. Until he joined social media and a few groups which cater to historical references, he found out, how remiss his Northern education was on certain aspects of history. Evidently, he wasn't the only one. To simply imply that my work is offensive because a mind with limited information can’t possibly envision, nor imagine what I’m sharing is, well, to say the least, disappointing.

Allow me to present my case.

Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States and a member of the National Union Party. The National Union Party was the temporary name used by the Republican Party. Parties also used the name for the national ticket in the 1864 presidential election. An election that took place during the Civil War. State Republican parties did not change their name. These parties remained the Republican party. The National Union Party name was used to attract War Democrats and border states, Unconditional Unionists and Unionist Party members who would not vote for the Republican Party. The party nominated incumbent Republican President Abraham Lincoln and for Vice President Democrat Andrew Johnson, who was elected in an electoral landslide.

The party, through a series of twists and turns, became the party of Lincoln.

Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863.

By the end of the Civil War, roughly 179,000 black men (10% of the Union Army) served as soldiers in the U.S. Army and another 19,000 served in the Navy.

In the South, a group called the Dixiecrats, who were the States’ Rights Democratic Party was a short-lived segregationist political party in the United States, active primarily in the South. The Dixiecrats were determined to protect Southern states’ rights to maintain racial segregation. This group, although abolished in 1948, carried with it a legacy of voter intimidation.

In some places, you had to be a landowner in order to vote. Between 1910 and 1997, African Americans lost about 90% of their farmland under the guise of it is heir property. However, a few African Americans who were the descendants of slave owners, who in their wills, bequeathed the land to their heirs, often found themselves fighting in court to win over the land.

Land in the South was hard-fought and seldom won. Today, we commonly use the phrase “40 acres and a mule,” but few of us have read the Order itself. Three of its parts are relevant here. Section one bears repeating in full: “The islands from Charleston, south, the abandoned rice fields along the rivers for thirty miles back from the sea, and the country bordering the St. Johns River, Florida, are reserved and set apart for the settlement of the negroes [sic] now made free by the acts of war and the proclamation of the President of the United States…. Section two specifies that black people themselves would govern entirely these new communities:”

There are lots of families throughout the United States, suing for the return of their ancestral lands. Lands that were falsely taken from them, and many organizations are finding themselves in losing battles in the courts.

I write what I know to be true.

Black families fought hard to maintain lands worked by their ancestors. Black families in the South still own plantations. Black families are still Republicans.

Please, don’t discredit my work based on your knowledge. Read my work and expand your own. I grew up in Alabama. I live in Georgia. I know my history.

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