Bertha’s Legacy, Jamie’s Future. Do you have the courage to walk with us?

I am not looking for approval. I do not desire a history lesson. I will not approve posts written by haters or trolls. I have not the time nor patience for hate. If this is not a cause you are interested in then you may not want to waste your time reading this post. However, I hope you will find it in your heart to at least hear me out.

If you have read my previous posts then you will already know who Bertha is. If you took the time to listen to the radio show, you will know who Jamie is. If you do not know who Jamie is, please check out his story at
http://www.mynameisjamie.net. If you yearn for a world filled with love, acceptance, equality and peace, then perhaps Jamie’s story will move you like it has me.

Due to side effects from the medication that eases my pain just enough for me to be able to get out of bed, most of the $3 words I once knew are lost to me. Same with my dictionary and thesaurus so please don’t have high expectations of my writing skills!

Sadly, I never had the honor of meeting Bertha. Yet she has been an amazing influence in my life. My mother was raised in an extremely prejudice and abusive home. Her only refuge was in the arms of Bertha, their African American maid. Bertha loved mama as if she were her own. Because of her, mama grew up not living with fear and hatred in her heart. Because of Bertha’s love, my mama chose to teach her children love and acceptance. We grew up with the knowledge that all people are the same. We all put our pants on one leg at a time. We may have different pigmentation or believe in a different God. Some people may not believe in a God. It is not for me to decide that I am right and you are wrong. Each and every one of us have a right to our own belief system, thoughts and opinions.

That being said, I loved and accepted everyone. I was always out to help the underdog regardless of race, color, creed or religion. We all bleed red.

Unfortunately, I grew up thinking that “just not being racist” was enough. What a small and shallow world I created for myself. Then I met Sonni. Boy, has she opened my eyes! Thank you, WordPress. In a very short time she has taught me so much. Thank you, Sonni. Sonni introduced me to Jamie. His story is tragic and one that happens far too often. I knew nothing of the prison system until I started reading her blog about Jamie. I had no idea of the cruelty and neglect that runs rampant in the prison system. I used to think that all or most prisoners deserved to be there and never even thought about the conditions. There are hundreds of thousands of men and women who have more than paid their dues. Many who could not afford an attorney were frightened into taking a plea deal, often giving them far more time than a jury may have. Jamie was told that he should take the seventeen years being offered because a jury would likely give him 99 years. Of course he opted for the deal. Black men in Texas don’t get paroled. They serve every day of their sentence. I bet many states are the same. My mom worked for the local District Attorney’s office and can tell you stories about how black men and women almost always serve three times the amount of time than that of a white person who has been charged with the exact same thing. Tragic. Unjust. Fundamentally wrong.

The rapist who lives in my neighborhood served eight years for brutalizing a woman. Jamie is serving seventeen years for being in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong person. He is not a violent man. On the contrary, he is a gentle spirit. He is the father of one of Sonni’s grandchildren. She knows his story inside and out.

If someone had told me six months ago that I would be writing to an inmate, I would have told them they were crazy. If they had told me I would come to care deeply for and love a prisoner, I would have told them they were insane. I love Jamie very deeply. Not romantically. I am married and almost twice his age. Jamie has become my brother and I am now his sister. I am not going to give you details here as I so desperately want you to read his story for yourself, with an open mind and loving heart. I’m sorry for being redundant. Ah, I found a $2 word.

“Bertha’s Legacy, Jamie’s Future” is an organization I am creating in order to bring black and white people together in order to fight for justice and equality. Contrary to popular belief in this country, those two things do not exist. This is not and will not be “my” organization. Each and every one of us will have ownership. We will stand together and walk side by side. We will be one voice. I am looking for loving people who honestly want change to walk this journey with us.

DO YOU HAVE THE COURAGE TO WALK WITH US?

Let me remind you, no racist, hateful or hurtful comments will be approved.

Thank you for taking the time to read about Jamie and the dream he has unknowingly inspired me to reach for.

Hugs,

Leah

I have started a group on Facebook called, “Bertha’s Legacy, Jamie’s Future”

It is bare bones right now. I will be adding posts on a regular basis. It is a closed group so it will be off limits to haters and trolls. I will not allow hate or disrespect at all. Zero tolerance. We may not always agree. We may feel differently than someone else. There is ALWAYS a way to explain your belief system to someone else with love and respect. I hope that you will by, even if you just want to say hello, give encouragement or just lurk for awhile.
Hugs,
Leah

14 thoughts on “Bertha’s Legacy, Jamie’s Future. Do you have the courage to walk with us?

    1. Thank you very much. Thanks to 11 years of Neurontin, my vocabulary has greatly diminished and my writing skills are all but gone. In tenth grade my reading level test put me as being a junior in college. Now I am lucky to remember three and four letter words! I am often afraid people will view my posts as if I were a twelve year old but I have received so much support and encouragement here at WordPress. You guys are super-duper awesome! How’s that for a fifty something year old? Lol. In my teens and twenties I wrote very intense poetry. I can’t find my way back there and I sometimes feel as if there is a piece of my spirit missing.
      I’m sorry. I know you didn’t ask for all that. Being disabled often cause loneliness and results in isolation. That is the reason my mouth (or fingers) don’t know when to stop. My brain may never again be capable of locating all of my lost $3 words, but I write from my heart.
      You have made me cry. Tears of joy, of course. If I made you feel something inside, then I have accomplished something worthwhile.
      Thank you for taking the time to respond. I am very grateful!
      Hugs,
      Leah

      Like

    1. Thank you, Mick. I will work until my body gives out fighting for justice and equality. I have never seen so much hate as i have in these last few months. It is just plain ugly on so many levels. It is appalling that Atlanta City Schools actually allow seniors to graduate with only a third grade reading level. How can we expect them to achieve in life if they can’t even fill out a job application? What happened to no child left behind?
      If you know anyone that might be interested in joining our quest, please send them my way. I have had a lot of people wishing me luck and saying that it’s a great idea. I’m struggling to find people who actually want to join us. There are no expectations. Even if you/they just drop in occasionally to give a word of encouragement or some constructive criticism/advise. We need people like you, even if you just want to remind me that all things are possible and to hang in there! I am redoing the Facebook page today and will then add it the my post. My mom will be approving all posts so there will be no haters or trolls. I do not have the patience to deal with that nonsense. We have too much work to do.
      Thank you very much for taking the time to read my post. I am very grateful.
      Hugs,
      Leah

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re very welcome, Leah. I shall encourage and add words where I think they may be of some help. We are fortunate that here in UK things do not appear to be quite so polarised and dreadful as they are in places in the US (although, God knows they’re hardly perfect!), but I am always happy to lend my voice to anything that furthers justice, peace and equality.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much! My use of the English language has declined dramatically after years of taking an anti seizure drug. No more three and four dollar word. I try hard to speak from my heart rather than my mind because that usually gets me in trouble. Lol.
      Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post. I am honored. I am on my way to check out your blog. I hope we speak again.
      Hugs,
      Leah

      Like

  1. A good post and a nice reminder that there are people out there who look on us all as one people despite the pigmentation of skin and who wish for a better world free of killing. Justice is good way of starting to improve the world. I hope Jamie’s case will be taken up by the group that question the justice and legality of sentences over there and that he achieves freedom.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you very much!

      It appears that I am going to have to hold off on getting that going on order to do some work on me. I allowed myself to go into a very deep depression by becoming a doormat for my family! Yeah me. Lol. I am coming out of it and I don’t want to start organizing the group until I can give 100% of myself to the project. I have also just found some free classes that will give me a lot of tools that I don’t currently have in my toolbox. These classes will make a huge difference since right now I am clueless.

      I will never give up on it though. We have to make a change and it starts with us. All people are equal and should be treated as such. I may not see America reach that place in my lifetime but I hope that our children will get to experience equality for all.

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post AND comment. It means so much to me.

      Hugs,

      Leah

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Leah, you are too modest for your own good. You write eloquently, and most importantly, with great passion and cause. This is truly a noble act on your behalf. I myself accept that I do notprejudice or judge others, but that does not mean I have done anything major against the act of inequality, so that does not leave me without sin. Your humble tone resonates with me and it becomes more accessible to readers. I wish you the best of luck at showing yourself the same love that you are showing to others in harsh situations. Take care, Edel

    Liked by 2 people

  3. i read your post as i promised alot of information and knowledge just the way you think about prisoners before i did too but your post changed my mind and told me about the injustice that i didnt know thanks

    Liked by 1 person

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