people who put the rest of us to shame, cont.


Continuing my little effort, here’s a story for you.

Emmanuel Alfred Roberts was born in 1843. He was a slave in Texas, herding sheep as a child for a rancher called Abe Roberts (he had to protect them from mountain lions, apparently). At 12 years old, in 1865, he was emancipated (by another Abe, as it happens) and took the rancher’s last name for his own. In due course he married a Moriah Josephine Washington, and they had 13 children. One of them, Amanda, was born in 1899.

Amanda is now 109 years old, and just helped to vote in the first black president. “I thought I’d never have this opportunity to vote for a coloured man,” she told ABC News.

Women, of course, didn’t get the vote until Amanda was 21. And although black people could vote, they had to pay a poll tax. Nevertheless, Amanda has voted in every presidential election since Roosevelt – though she doesn’t remember which of his four terms that was for.

‘We would pick cotton and save our money to pay taxes,’ she recalls,” in an article on NPR.

The poll tax was abolished in Texas in 1966.

I love her wall of pictures.

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