Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Could you do it?

Like a whole lot of other people that have 're-migrated' to the South, I came here because it is more affordable. And it is. Down here you can really have the home of your dreams, and it won't cost you a million dollars and your first born child. No, down here you can have a nice four bedroom, 3 bathroom, full-sized kitchen, 2 car garage, deck out back and porch up front for 159,000, and have plenty of yard space to go with it.

In the Bay Area - where I'm from, for 159,000, you'll be living way out in the woods somewhere and would have to drive 2 hours PLUS to get to work everyday.

So, anyway, here I was at work today browsing the web looking for houses and look what I came across for 375,000 bucks:

"This home has been in my family for over thirty years. I grew up in it during my teen years. The home is over two hundred years old. The home was built around the late seventeen hundreds to around 1800. It is constructed from the heart of Pine trees. Probably from Pine trees on and near the property. The home is surrounded on ten acres of almost level land. The home is about 4500 square feet. "

Wow, 4500 square feet! In San Leandro I lived in a 850 sq foot apartment. My friends have bought homes that are 2000 sq feet for the same asking price as that house. I now live in a 1450 sq foot townhouse...but 4500 square feet, I can't imagine it. What would I do with 4500 square feet? Ok, living room, dining room, kitchen, family room, study, bathrooms - and now we get to the bedrooms: ok Master bedroom, TJ's room, Malcolm's room, Jarred's room, Aaron's room and guest room. WOW, there is still space left! And the ten acres of land! What to do, what to do? Ok, recording studio, gym...I'm running out of ideas. Damn, I could entertain all kinds of family and friends in a spot like that. But then, I saw something I overlooked:

"It is an old Plantation Home"

I had to step back and do like Black Rob and say: "WHOA!" I don't know. I don't think I could live in a plantation. Even if I did buy it, I wouldn't be able to sleep at night. According to the ad it says it was built in the 17 and or 1800's - that means at the peak of our captivity - somebody had slaves working that property. The ad also says: "It is contructed from the heart of Pine trees. Probably from Pine trees on and near the property." Guess who chopped the trees? The same somebodies that dragged the trees and cut them and built the house.

Slavery is our holocaust. Even though no one I know - or ever met, was ever a slave, the effects of it still effect black people 140 years after it was abolished. No I have never picked cotton, tobacco, sugar cane or anything else that comes from the ground - and it's because of the legacy of slavery that I absolutely r-e-f-u-s-e to pick anything now.

Now, we are in a time when Black people - in this country, have more wealth today than ever before. There are more Black professionals today than there were in the 60's when the Civil Rights Bill was passed. Black people own all kinds of black nostalgia ie; the Mamie dolls, Sambo posters etc., etc,...Will the day ever come when we own plantations?

The sentiment behind owning Sambo posters and the like is that, we should own our legacy no matter how painful it is. But a poster or a doll are different from the blood, sweat and tears that went into building plantations.

I couldn't live in one for all the reasons previously mentioned and, because doing so, would alienate me - and my family, from the local Black community. Word of a black person buying a plantation in the South would spread faster than a Tupac mixtape. Black folks would show up out of nowhere in the middle of the day, just to get a 'look' at who bought that damn house.


chase said...

At the expense of sounding like im bragging (im not), we have 4000 sq ft. Yeah its a ton of room (13 of them) but you should see my electric bill, I almost fainted when the first one came in. I think I would be ok owning a plantation....I would do the history on in and revel in the fact of knowing they would turn in their grave that we'r now sleeping in the rooms where they banned their slaves from. hehe

The All Mighty Mark Skillz said...

You have 4,000 sq feet? Goddamn, no wonder when I talked to you last you were talking about how difficult it was to decorate your house!

My townhouse is 1450 sq feet and I had to sit down when i saw my electic bill: 182 bucks!

I called them and said, "Hey, there must be some mistake". They said "No, your bill is less than the people who were there before you!"

Shocked the hell out of me.