FREEDOM OR ANARCHY,Campaign of Conscience.

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This blog does not promote, support, condone, encourage, advocate, nor in any way endorse any racist (or "racialist") ideologies, nor any armed and/or violent revolutionary, seditionist and/or terrorist activities. Any racial separatist or militant groups listed here are solely for reference and Opinions of multiple authors including Freedom or Anarchy Campaign of conscience.

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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

We Gave Thanks At The Cotton Gin

We Gave Thanks At The Cotton Gin


When I returned to the Mississippi Delta after overseas military service, my father hired me as his farm manager.

One year, when harvest was nearing, he said, “Son, we’ve got a fine cotton crop to gather. I’ll spend all my time in the fields; you’ll manage the gin. Jaybird will show the works.”

Even though I found comfort in knowing that my lifelong friend and mentor, the wise old black man everyone called Jaybird, would train me, I was petrified. I would not only have to make sure the gin’s components were synchronized and running at peak efficiency, but also I would have to manage a six-man crew: three African-Americans and three Hispanics.

With Jaybird’s tutoring, I became proficient at my tasks. Day after day, we toiled can to can’t, slept a few hours, and returned for another stretch of hard work. November hastened toward its end.

On Thanksgiving Day, the gin was humming nicely, when Juanita, the pressman’s wife, came into the office.

“Señor, I have come to ask that you shut down the gin so that the men can enjoy a Thanksgiving meal,” she said.

“Absolutely not!” I retorted. “Dad’s cotton harvesting equipment cannot sit idle waiting for empty trailers.”

Then I realized why this day was so special to Juanita. In her native country, she lived in poverty. Here, her husband could earn more in a few hours than he might earn in a week back home.

“Let me talk to Jaybird and see what he thinks,” I said. 

My mentor said just what I needed to hear. “Boy, if you want these men to keep working long hours, the best thing you can do is shut down the gin long enough for them to celebrate Thanksgiving.”

“Juanita, bring the food you’ve prepared,” I said. “Tell the other wives to do the same. We’re going to celebrate Thanksgiving right at the gin!”

We gathered on the gin’s loading platform, out in the glorious sunshine, and laid a few cotton bales end to end for a makeshift table.

The women and children came, and cuisine from three different cultures covered the bales. We gave thanks for our many blessings that year — especially the bountiful crop, and heaped our plates with delicious food.

When everyone finished eating, I asked Jaybird, a man who had endured unbearable misery during the Great Depression, what Thanksgiving meant to him.

He pulled out the small Bible that was always in his shirt pocket, turned to a dog-eared page and asked me to read one of his favorite passages from Deuteronomy.

“When thou hast eaten and art full, bless the Lord thy God for the good land which He hath given thee.”

Indeed, God has given us Americans a land “... Beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain, for purple mountain majesties, above the fruited plain.”

For all these blessings, we must thank the Lord, as the gin crew and I did that day when we gave thanks at the cotton gin.


Pro Deo et Constitutione – Libertas aut Mors
Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis

Jimmy Reed - Joseph F Barber

We Gave Thanks At The Cotton Gin


When I returned to the Mississippi Delta after overseas military service, my father hired me as his farm manager.

One year, when harvest was nearing, he said, “Son, we’ve got a fine cotton crop to gather. I’ll spend all my time in the fields; you’ll manage the gin. Jaybird will show the works.”

Even though I found comfort in knowing that my lifelong friend and mentor, the wise old black man everyone called Jaybird, would train me, I was petrified. I would not only have to make sure the gin’s components were synchronized and running at peak efficiency, but also I would have to manage a six-man crew: three African-Americans and three Hispanics.

With Jaybird’s tutoring, I became proficient at my tasks. Day after day, we toiled can to can’t, slept a few hours, and returned for another stretch of hard work. November hastened toward its end.

On Thanksgiving Day, the gin was humming nicely, when Juanita, the pressman’s wife, came into the office.

“Señor, I have come to ask that you shut down the gin so that the men can enjoy a Thanksgiving meal,” she said.

“Absolutely not!” I retorted. “Dad’s cotton harvesting equipment cannot sit idle waiting for empty trailers.”

Then I realized why this day was so special to Juanita. In her native country, she lived in poverty. Here, her husband could earn more in a few hours than he might earn in a week back home.

“Let me talk to Jaybird and see what he thinks,” I said. 

My mentor said just what I needed to hear. “Boy, if you want these men to keep working long hours, the best thing you can do is shut down the gin long enough for them to celebrate Thanksgiving.”

“Juanita, bring the food you’ve prepared,” I said. “Tell the other wives to do the same. We’re going to celebrate Thanksgiving right at the gin!”

We gathered on the gin’s loading platform, out in the glorious sunshine, and laid a few cotton bales end to end for a makeshift table.

The women and children came, and cuisine from three different cultures covered the bales. We gave thanks for our many blessings that year — especially the bountiful crop, and heaped our plates with delicious food.

When everyone finished eating, I asked Jaybird, a man who had endured unbearable misery during the Great Depression, what Thanksgiving meant to him.

He pulled out the small Bible that was always in his shirt pocket, turned to a dog-eared page and asked me to read one of his favorite passages from Deuteronomy.

“When thou hast eaten and art full, bless the Lord thy God for the good land which He hath given thee.”

Indeed, God has given us Americans a land “... Beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain, for purple mountain majesties, above the fruited plain.”

For all these blessings, we must thank the Lord, as the gin crew and I did that day when we gave thanks at the cotton gin.


Pro Deo et Constitutione – Libertas aut Mors
Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis

Jimmy Reed - Joseph F Barber

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