The patriarch of the family is born into slavery and makes an unsuccessful attempt toward freedom when he runs away from his previous plantation. By chance, he falls captive at a cotton plantation of one of the riches planters in Darlington, South Carolina. His job is that of a coach driver, not having to work as a “buck” in the field. There at the plantation he meets his future wife, Matilda, working as a cook and a laundry maid in the big house.
Once slavery is over, after standing in a circle with their backs turn and hands intertwine, four freed slaves walk south, north, east or west to determine their directions to start their lives.
The patriarch works hard as a farmer. He accumulates and becomes successful and is very prominent in the community. He buys land in 1888 for approximately five dollars an acre, and his children inherit more than 20 acres each and build their homes by the sweat of their brows. His children are also successful farmers and their father instills in them to never work for a white man. The land is still in the family today.
Each offspring has personal struggles with life’s bouts. Whatever challenges they endure they fight to keep the legacy of their father alive. Each one of them is brought to life through the voice of Belly-Ache’s Roots.
Every family goes through trials, tribulations, accomplishments, happy and sad times from the days of old. Your family as well as mine has a testimony and a story to be told. Belly-Ache’s Roots may be instrumental in you finding the stories hiding in your past.