Today, I was looking at my original birth certificate for some information and discovered a little-known Black History fact that I had not noticed before.
In the bottom right corner, there was a check box for “Militia District”.
Georgia Militia: “Central to the American concept of a republican democracy, composed as it was of citizen-soldiers, the militia system was essential to the political and social structure.”
Adapted from Berlet & Lyons, “Militia Nation,”The Progressive Magazine: “This coalescence of the militias out of the patriot movement created a potential for violent assaults against certain targeted scapegoats: federal officials and law-enforcement officers, abortion providers and their pro-choice supporters, environmentalists, people of color, immigrants, welfare recipients, gays and lesbians, and Jews.”
My definition: “Militia Zone” evolved from the Willie Lynch Letter and Jim Crow laws that mean containment, which is a form of control that limits the quality of education, etc. for African-Americans.
Honestly, when I saw the word “militia”, I thought about the Klu Klux Klan.
When I was a girl, I saw a large cross burning in a neighbor’s yard, as well as witnessing an atrocity so beyond the beating of Rodney King, it would be distasteful to explain.
The word “Militia” triggered my memory of the clear hatred and terrorism perpetrated on my neighborhood (Militia District) that was all black.
As I look back on those heinous crimes committed on two of the most prominent individuals, compared to present day lynching, disenfranchisement, racism…, I know that African-Americans have not progressed in 2016.
As far as I am concerned, I had a good childhood and upbringing in the neighborhood of my youth, even though my family was extremely poor.
The grinding poverty did not get me down, because I grew up among black people who were tribal, we looked out for each other.
Upon further reflection, our “Militia District” was surrounded by middle-class white neighborhoods, and there were no black retail stores, so everything we bought was from them.
We were separated and we knew it.
“You’ve got to look back and find out the past, and then you look forward.” – Sven Haakanson Sr., Kodiak Island Elder, 1997
Frankly, I was happy living segregated, because my parents and grandparents were a quiet force ready and willing to take on any challenges.
They taught me priceless lessons about adversity and diversity in various situations and circumstances.
My mother and grandmothers’ were sharecroppers, they were good at it, and they got paid for their hard labor.
In my opinion, my mother’s mom “had everything”, at least more than we had.
She could buy whatever she wanted when the Rolling Store came by; and when my mother moved her to the city, she became a cottage industry entrepreneur, and could buy anything she wanted from the grocery store on monthly credit, with a handwritten note.
She died debt free!
I believe those positive experiences helped my family matriarchs to “socialize” with Caucasians (to a certain degree).
They were always respectful, yet were not afraid to speak out or speak their mind while looking to the back of their eyeballs.
They had great rapport with everyone they worked for and dealt with in both personal and business situations.
My family did not cause any problems, and did not back down from any either.
Today, I basically live in a “Militia District” where you are expected to stay in your place and not talk back.
This “Militia District” thing has really stirred up my memories of the threats of violence that I have received since I have been living on my current homestead.
It is true.
I am the only black person living on my street; and I have it on good authority that “black people” were not allowed to walk down my street in past years.
A person trying to intimidate me pointed out that the “KKK” live nearby.
As a peaceful person and homesteader, I was advised to post a “NO TRESPASSING – NO SOLICITING” sign that I stand behind.
I am a quiet force, because I follow a long line of “uppity black folks”, ambitious for our families.
I could write a book!
How do I feel about this current state of “Militia District” mentality?
My beliefs go against my feelings, which ebb and flow with my love for humanity.
I believe that racism is still going around and where it stop nobody knows.
In closing, I will cite a more in-depth, edited Georgia Militia Districts document crafted to keep the “niggers” under control.
“The active, organized Georgia Militia, in the sense that it existed during the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812 and the various Indian uprisings until 1840, is today practically extinct. Its place was taken by the Volunteer organizations, both before and after the War Between the States, and later by the National Guard when it was organized in 1916.”
“Technically, every citizen of the State, between the ages of 17 and 45, who is not a member of the National Guard or other organized military force, is today a member of the unorganized Georgia Militia in the Militia District in which he resides.”
“The practice of segregating taxpayers by Militia Districts on the tax digests continues to this day.”
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