Friday, May 12, 2017

November 11, 1831: Nat Turner

November 11, 1831: Nat Turner
 by Jill McDonough

Jerusalem, Virginia

Of course Turner's mind - restless, inquisitive,
observant of every thing - would turn his rage
to visions of the Spirit at work. He gives
accounts in his Confession of spirits engaged
in battle, blood on the corn, and hieroglyphs
on leaves that told him what to do. My class
in the prison disagrees, has trouble with
Nat Turner, with the visions, violent acts
against children who "never hurt him". Upset,
one blurts out, "I was tortured and abused
by my boyfriend, then killed some other guy, and that
ain't right. He's cold in the ground. What'd he do
to me?" Next we review what they did when he died:
flesh rendered to grease, a money-purse made of his hide.

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