I’ll never forget Henry. He loved my little sister so much. I know we would both cry if I did get to see him again. Many miles, trials, lifetimes between when these pictures were taken and 2:50 am as I write through another sleepless night.
I wrote this on the day John Lewis crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama for the last time. Rest in peace, our Congressman called “The Boy from Troy”. #GoodTrouble
I watched Congressman John Lewis cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge for the last time today. I was three years old and fifty miles away when he took that beating for equality and racial justice in America.
We lived in Warri, Nigeria 1967 thru 1969. I learned at an early age to see people as people, not as a color. We had a gardener named Henry who fought to protect my sister from a child molester. He taught me to ride a bicycle. He wanted to return with us to America, but could not because there was Civil War and Henry was twenty-three; eligible for military service.
I remember the tears rolling down his face as we left our little village. I do think of Henry often and wonder what happened to him in Nigeria. I also wonder what would have happened to him in America if he could have traveled back to Alabama with us. A white woman with two little white daughters and a very big, very protective black man.
I saw Henry cry; his tears looked like mine. I heard Henry laugh and his laughter was a booming, joyful sound that made you laugh along with him. Laughter, a universal language. On the day Henry fought to protect my sister, his blood was red, just like mine.
One thing was different about Henry. He had a heart of gold.