Sneak Peak of “Revolutionary”

No one ever means to fall in love; it just happens. Cliché, I know. In all my years roaming the earth, I was always under the assumption that it would never happen to me. But in all those years, I have learned never to assume.
I was born in New Town, Pennsylvania in 1757. I was born a free black man, which didn’t mean much in the mid-eighteenth century. If anything, I had to be more careful. Sometimes, I thought that white men only gave privileges so that they could take them away one day. I guess that’s true of anyone in power.
I was luckier that most though. My mother died in childbirth, and I was taken in by a peaceful Quaker family. This would not have been the case for most black men, but my mother was white and as long as I kept my mouth shut and worked hard, folks would look past my less-than-white skin. By look past, I mean it was as if I didn’t exist at all.
I came of age during a time when revolution was stirring and a new nation was blooming. I longed to be a part of the action, but my adoptive family frowned on violence. They weren’t loyalists, but many of the Quaker families in the area were. They didn’t believe in British rule; they just didn’t want to rock the boat.
Shortly after my eighteenth birthday, news reached us that the war had begun. British troops had attacked colonists in Massachusetts. More importantly, the colonists fought back that day. Tensions were high, and despite my Quaker upbringing and my family’s objections, I wanted to be a part of the revolution. I was one of those foolish enough to believe that freedom from the British would mean freedom for all.
That summer, I joined the associators when they regrouped. It felt good to be involved in the cause, however, I was merely enlisted as the help. All anyone seemed to do was talk while I was busy serving these talking men. I couldn’t have been farther away from the action. This didn’t stop my family from wanting nothing to do with me.
A year went by, and then excitement came to New Town. General Washington made his headquarters in town after a battle at Trenton. Riding on the coattails of victory and finally seeing my opportunity to join the war on the frontlines, I officially enlisted and traveled with Washington’s men to Morristown for the winter.
My three years in the continental army were both exhilarating and disappointing. I had many close calls and almost lost my life to smallpox. I returned home to New Town a changed and defeated man. The excitement I once craved left a bitter taste in my soul. I had seen death and brought death to many, and there was nothing exciting about either.
I got a job on a farm outside town and decided that my Quaker upbringing hadn’t been all that bad. It wasn’t peace with the world that I needed, but rather peace with myself. As it turns out, personal wars can be endless and all-consuming too.

Read the full story in Not My Type, which goes on sale June 9th!

The History of Current Events

So Caesar crossed the Rubicon

and Washington the Delaware

and we still don’t know

why the chicken crossed the road.

There was a war over there

and a war over here

and even a couple that

spanned the globe.

It all started with a shot

heard round the world

or was it a big bang

that created the world?

Even today, there is a war

over here and over there

and even one within

but who remembers peace?

It is not that history repeats itself

although the similarities are clear,

but rather history has never ended

it’s stuck on repeat year after year.

©Autumn Siders 2016

#tbt

This was from back in my days as a rapper. Enjoy a little history lesson!

 

Everybody in the 434 throw your hands in the air

Cause we gonna win that war

Yo, Yo Yo

We be comin’ from the south you know

Where all of the tobacco grow

We the rich colonies cant ya hear

We can smell all them north guy’s fear

With the mountains to the west

And the ocean to the east

We’ll be rapping up the coast

And eating a big feast

But now let me tell you just how it began,

No wait lets hear it from this man

“Yo, my name is James Oglethorpe

And I’m rapping to you now

I founded Georgia and I’m gonna tell you how

Well it started in 1733

An English general I be

Georgia was for the poor

Yeah to open a new door

But not only for that

But to get us up to bat

We kept the Spanish out

We won without a doubt

Since I was strict

The colonists got ticked

But some had to stay

And grow rice all day

But oh well

I was rich”

Now lets hear it from the big NC (North Carolina that is)

“Well you see, it started in 1650

Eight englishmen talk to Charles number two

And he said here’s a grant from me to you

So they set up shop and started farming

But without women it didn’t matter if they were charming

So they were poor and needed some money

So let me tell you how, its really quite funny

It was really a sticky situation sellin’ tar and pitch

Man let me tell you it really was a b… big deal”

So now lets go up north

“I hope you don’t think I’m too forth-

Coming, but I gotta tell ya bout the virgin queen

She really wasn’t that mean

In 1607 we named Virginia after her

But things couldn’t be as they were

We changed our crops cause of the climate

We got rich off tobacco but nothing rhymes with climate

We started usin’ slaves to do our work

But trouble in the future it did lurk.”

You heard of the west being won

Well that’s how the south was lost

Between Indians and no food

We couldn’t afford the cost

We ran into trouble

But no one was there on the double

I guess the mountains were too high

And the rivers too wide

But somehow we made it

And we still here today

And we got nothing else to say.

© Autumn Siders 2006