Perceiving the Dream
I Wish I Knew How It Feels To Be Free . . .
"What Happens to a Dream Deferred?
Does it just rot like a raisin in the sun . . ."
African American Ancestors
|Grandfather and I talked of many
things, but very little about family history. After his passing in the
nursing home, I found the deeds to the family cemetary plots. Inside the
enevelope: Inside the USCT Army Discharge of Great-grandfather Ned Hopson.
Years later while surfing the Internet, I read an article datelining a USCT Reenactor's Celebration in Washington, DC.
One hundred thirty years later for a dream deferred. The National Park Service's year long celebration would conclude with the dedication of the African American Civil War Monument, July 17, 1998. In addition, a search bank of 235,000 names indexing each Colored soldier and White officer who served during the Civil War.
|"The light of my dream
Rose until it touched
|My search indexed the Hopson surname
24 times: Ned Hopson and Lewis Hopson were listed as members of the 8th
Artillery H Regiment, in different companies. Each had enrolled and was discharged on the same date. This data bank initiated my
research of our family history.
"First feel, then read, or read then feel,
Then stand or fall where you already are.
|I posted on a Kentucky message
board asking for information
related to a pair of former slaves. I received an answer from the g-grandfather of William H. Hopson, Happy Grier, providing excerpts and a copy of the will. The will probated in Will Book G, p 448, Christian County, January 1833 -- included the names, Lewis and Ned. There was a nine years age difference between the two Neds. But fortunately, the 1850 and 1860 slave schedules indicate a possible match. The 1900 Federal Census provided
a surprise: Our maternal Great- grandmother Mrs. Milieu Askew,
|The National Archives and Records
Administration, Kentucky Historical Society, the Interior and War
Departments provided a
wealth of helpful data, greatly enhancing background information about the earliest family history i.e., the affidavit of James Hill, a lifelong friend, who fought alongside in the same regiment, and was at his deathbed, died January 4, 1896. A great number of affidavits were submitted supporting the family matriarch's petition for disability pension war related injuries, often supply personal information.
|"Think of yourself and and all
the other selves
. . .Look closely into
all things close to you
. . .
|Great-grandfather End Hopson died
January 4, 1896, interested the confirmation of his dream: I wonder
how it feels to be free!
And now, nine generations later, and still growing, each generation is described as a dream scene. The Dream Keepers have kept the faith . They are keeping the Dream alive.
|"Make some muscle in your head,
But use the muscle in your heart." --
Young Soul, Amiri Baraka
|Great-grandmother Naomi Ann
Hopson died July 12, 1924, age 71. I, proud to be a grandson, was
born March 22, 1924. I would hope the she was aware of me, then, too. Some
things are priceless: A discharge spanned our time barrier revealing our