Thank you for dinner in my honor

Published 12:02 am Thursday, June 19, 2014

I want to express thanks for the appreciation dinner given in my honor by the community and Forks of the Road enslavement markets friends June 2 at the Natchez Museum of African American History, where the dinner theme was “Celebrating the power to make change.”

I was totally and completely unaware of the dinner being given by the community and co-Forks of the Road preservation activists to show their appreciation for my right at two decades of public advocacy for the preservation, interpretation and presentation of the chattel slavery history of the Forks of the Road.

The Forks speaks to American Africans’ populations’ presence, Deep Southwest states community development contributions and culture and growth to the present day, which all have and are benefitting.

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The Historic Forks of the Road in Natchez is where the second largest American domestic “slave” trading markets in the Deep Southwest states operated. New Orleans was the largest American Deep Southwestern states domestic “slave” trading, both internal trafficking and international importing selling market. But not the largest in America.

I call my public preservation advocacy an equal history commemoration campaign.

Equal history means overcoming making “it look like white folks did everything all by themselves.”

These comments were key comments spoken to the warm and friendly dinner audience as the “honoree.”

Most certainly, I was completely surprised when at 5:30 p.m. I was led in into the handsomely decorated conference room of NAPAC Museum after our meeting of the Prince Ibrahim Isabella Freedom Foundation Board of Directors, including Dr. Artemus Gaye, seventh generation great grandson of the “Prince Among Slaves” Abdul Rakhman Ibrahim Ibn Sori who was enslaved on the Greenwood Plantation in Adams County right at 40 years.

Right off the bat, my person wanted to know what was going on and who was responsible.

They caught me flat-footed and at a loss for words. So this Leo the Loin person was humbled and had to spend the entire time trying to think of how to show my appreciation and give thanks for the community giving me flowers while still standing.

In essence, I told them that their dinner of honor for me was at the highest level of appreciative impact on my person. It was the third time of being recognized by awards from American Africans in Natchez. However, the other two times were the doings of a Greek fraternity and a business and civic organization and rank high with me.

This was the first time since returning home to Natchez in 1995 that people of the community came together spontaneously to show their appreciation and also express the learning experiences they gained from the equal history commemorations advocacy and activities I implemented.

Therefore, the dinner occasion was particularly special and uplifting for me. So much so, I told them that their type of program that covered the past 19 years of equal history advocacy/activism in Natchez and Mississippi and beyond is exactly the kind of program I want to be done for my funeral ceremony.

I said I have made my last formal instructions to my daughter to show and present my community development advocacy, activism, achievements and development from my 35 years in California. Have African drumming and play Bob Marley’s “Get up, stand up, for your rights, don’t give up the fight” reggae song.

Now add the David Dreyer type layout of my community advocacy/activism achievements and developmental institutional changes made region-wide while based back here in Natchez.

No other component, except everyday folks coming forth to express their appreciation is to be included.

Thus, folks this is how I was so positively moved and impacted by the “Celebrating the Power to Make Change” dinner given in my honor.

At last, Natchez has welcomed me back home.  Y’all know who you are.

Again, for those who have found out about the dinner and called my person about it, I had no idea about and nothing to do with it.

But for all y’all who want to express yourselves, you can do so by sending a donation for our upcoming biggest Black and Blue Civil War Living History Program yet, scheduled for the last of October 2014.

We will bring the 3rd U. S. Colored Cavalry Re-enactors to the home of based during the Civil War in Mississippi.

This will be very expensive, and there are no grants or shallow pocket income available to underwrite their coming home to Mississippi.

Make your contribution to FRSI and send to the post office box 2188 Natchez, Ms. 39121.


Ser Seshsh Ab Heter-CM Boxley is Friends of the Forks of the road coordinator.