Indea Vaher concludes her three part discussion on the origin intrinsic in the creation of SRM’s St Isabella USA SIM. Please keep in mind that this final selection is not the end, but merely the beginning to better understand how important it is to retain a SIM dedicated to this vibrant history. To learn more about the RL Sea Islands, please take a look at The Captain’s article here: SRM St Isabella Island Just Got Real.
Please note that the links to the previous installments are located at the end of this article, so if you are interested in reading those, please do so!
By 1880 a fundamental pillar of the American society was crumbling. An institution forged in generations of human bondage was fractured by the blood of a civil war. As some of the architects of a democratic America predicted, a time of reckoning was at hand. This reckoning was the deliverance of unshackled descendants of Africa, abused, enslaved, stripped of cultural identity and denied the fundamentals of a humane society, into free white society. To reconstruct a slave –less America three ideas were laid, Assimilation of African freedmen, the Segregation of African Freedmen and the return to Africa of African freedmen. As history would show the path taken was not bedded with such clear distinctions.
For many this mass assimilation was unapproachable. The rationalization for racism took deep roots in white society’s religion, Science and economy, for black society, a history of humiliations and depravities both observed and endured presented a huge chasm in the fiber of America, and more specifically the Americas southern states.
Return, was one of the ideas discussed in the Lincoln white house. Favored because of the removal of African’s back to Africa removed ready retribution for the wrongs done to a people, as well as the “disagreeable “ ways of the “colored” that many whites thought aesthetically disagreeable and intellectually burdensome.
Segregation seemed the most viable answer, especially in the south. Let each society center around its on kind in communities separated by distance or barrier. Where they co-habitated a system of separation would exist in fact and eventually in law, otherwise whites and blacks would live down the road or across the tracks, and in some instances Isolated by rivers and other natural barriers from each other.
St. Isabella is one of these places. A community racially separated and striving for self sufficiency….