Photo Credit: Susan Spaulding
“So the slaves were down here?” she asked, wrinkling her nose.
“Yes,” Mother said.
“Why weren’t they upstairs with the people?”
“Because, Little Light, slaves weren’t considered people.”
“But… Mama. how could they not be people?”
“Because,” Mother knelt. “Slaves were considered property.”
“Am I property?”
“No,” Mother laughed, hugging her daughter close. “Never in a million years.”
The little girl looked down at her Raggedy Ann doll. “Is Raggedy property?”
She smoothed down the child’s hair. “Raggedy Ann is a doll. She’s not a living person.”
Not satisfied, the girl frowned, squatting, Raggedy Ann held in front of her. “Raggedy,” she said seriously. “I’m sorry I thought you were property.” She blinked, holding back tears. “I guess I should free you cause… I don’t own you or nothing.”
“I think,” Mother said, “Raggedy Ann wants to stay with you.”
The little girl looked up hopefully. “But she is not property is she?”
With a smile, Mother rose, pulling her daughter up. “No, she isn’t property. She wants to stay because she loves you.”
The child looked at Raggedy Ann, hugged her close. “I love you, too,” she whispered, skipping off down the corridor.