The Saga of a South Bronx, (pardoned) prison escape, his family and the experiences that shaped his life during the late nineteen sixties.
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Charlotte African-American Writers
"Under The Green Tree," is the story of one particular family that migrated to the north in-search
of better conditions. Sara Jones, a single parent of three boys teaches her children southern mentality in the midst of a fast pace New York life style. Her son Cleabo takes on a rebellious attitude as he forgets the ways of the south and eagerly joins the mainstream of the city life. Cleabo's mistakes in life gave me the opportunity to capture and scribe this thought provoking story.
As a correctional officer my regulations stated I could have no cordial association with the inmates. Needless to say, thisrule was violated and ignored in-order to obtain the story of Cleabo Jones. Without his knowledge, I memorized the stories he shared with me between the bars of the seven by nine cell. I secretly transformed his story into a chronological order. Throughout the intense narrative, he explicitly describes the pain and suffering his family endured. His life story assured me of his innocence, and his incarceration clearly demonstrated the unjust system that permeates throughtout our land afflicting our neighbors.
Thoughout the latter nineteen fifties, a majority of the African-American population migrated to the north from the south. They were in-search of a new life, a life that would perhaps provide a lucrative income, more than the poor wages received in the cotton fields. Their objective was to segregate themselves from the croak sack bag that carried the four dollars per hundred pounds of cotton. The bag was straddled across their shoulders and hips, as it dragged the dirt of the narrow rows of the endless fields during the course of the day.
The sunrays beamed on the straw hats of the workers, the drips of their sweat crept from underneath their bandannas and thumped the blazing hot soil. Their hands were swollen and their fingers bled from the pointed end of the cotton boll, due to the indignities of picking the soft white substance that supplied our nation with fabric. Some of them finally realized the possibilites of a better life and they sought refuge in the north; others stayed and settled for less.
It was a period of time when racial and cultural issues were on the rise. African-Americans discovered the need to educate themselves. While being submerged into a dead end life, and swinging from a tree with a rope wrapped around their necks, the African-Americans finally realized that migration was their only alternative. Society of the past truly demonstrated what happened to uppity or out of line colored folks in a primitive but effective manner. The treatment towards the African-Americans in the south was effective enough to accelerate the migration to the north. Sara Jones and her family traveled the path to a better life in the north. "Under The Green Tree," delivers the difficulties and hardship they encountered, while continuously surviving in a cruel suppressed situation.