“…get close.” – Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson

December 3, 2017

From p 14, Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson

My grandmother was the daughter of people who were enslaved in Caroline County, VA. She was born in the 1880s, her parents in the 1840s. Her father talked to her all the time about growing up in slavery and how he learned to read and write but kept it a secret. He hid the things he knew–until Emancipation. The legacy of slavery very much shaped my grandmother and the way she raised her nine children. It influenced the way she talked to me, the way she constantly told me to “Keep close.”

When I visited her, she would hug me so tightly I could barely breathe. After a little while, she would ask me, ‘Bryan, do you still feel me hugging you?’ If I said yes, she’d let me be; if I said no, she would assault me again. I said no a lot because it made me happy to be wrapped in her formidable arms. She never tired of pulling me to her.

‘You can’t understand most of the important things from a distance, Bryan. You have to get close,’ she told me all the time.

Location, Location, Location.

You might notice the WAC Administration Building cupola out of the corner of your eye as you walk onto Simply Bed & Bread's brick path, since our house is just a stone's throw away from the college. Or it might be the ...
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