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A Lesson Learned

Our Story Page VI


Today racism exists as a mentality that is shared throughout our society.  Some families have not tried to rise above the norm of this mentality of slavery or racism or black and white.  The USofA redefined slavery by de-humanizing the slave. The USofA created racism by associating black and white with slave and master.  There is no country called Black and there is no country called White and there is no such thing as a race of people. Our family has risen above this “race” mentality along time ago with Peter Kennedy, Joanna Creech, Moses Creech and Orange Snell.  The area where our families jelled together was and is country, wooded and unpopulated.  They survived during the slavery years in Southern Alabama.  Our ancestors were trapped below the Alabama Black Belt, which were the deeply populated Alabama Slave counties. 


I noticed from researching the census records and land records in Dale County Alabama that the Kennedy, Creech and Snell Families lived in close proximity of each other.  The society that our ancestors grew up in did not disappear when slavery ended.  It is the society we adopted; the black, the white, the Indian living in this country.  It is a well known fact that the aftermath of slavery (i.e., the slave society and the race mentality) in the USofA will exist and linger for at least another 400 years.  This is something Mark Twain knew, a large part of his writings is about slavery and racism in this country.  Mark Twain’s insight to the Neanderthal mentality of the people living and experiencing slavery led him to designate that most of his work remain locked in a vault until the year 2410, that’s 500 years after his death. We only know about “Huckleberry Fin” and “Tom Sawyer”.  A lesson learned from slavery is that we need to find allies and we need to find hope and we need to stick together, survive and prosper.  Sounds like a simple plan but seems hard to do.  This is how our ancestors did it and that is how we should survive.  At times, it is not easy to prosper given the distractions of racism that our society tries so hard to suppress, avoid and ignore (yes, racism does still exist and will exist for at least 350 more years).  Our situation concerning racism is not as blatantly obvious and physically violent as what existed during slavery and during the Jim-Crow and Klu-Klux-Klan years.  We are our ancestors’ descendants.  So a Lesson Learned Item: if you want to survive in this world, know your neighbors. 


Some after notes:


Sylvan Grove was the first area to be settled in Dale County 1819, by Joseph Canady.


Midland City was named after the Midland Train Company who in 1889 laid train tracks running through Dale County down to Florida and then on to Georgia.  In 1890 and 1891, they created train stations in Daleville, Newton, Midland City and Pinckard.  The Midland Train Company also named Pinckard.  Before 1890, Midland City was called Kennedy Crossroads.  Kennedy Crossroads was named after Joseph Kennedy (also spelled Canady Canaday, Kanaday, Kanady and Kenedy; English was a second language in the deep woods of Southern Alabama back in those days).  He and his brother John was the first people to settle in the area of Southern Dale County.  Joseph owned at least 200 acres of land in the area surrounding Midland City.  Joseph Canady was born 1785 in North Carolina and was married to Sylvia Kennedy.  Their children were Jesse, John, Sheppard, Samuel, and Gilbert. Joseph had a brother named John and mother was named Catherine.  In 1850, they all lived in Barbour County Alabama.  Joseph owned 6 slaves; 30 year old male, 20 year old male, 20 year old female, five year old male, three year old male and a one year old male.  At the time, 1850, John L. was 21 years old and living with Joseph and their slaves.  Joseph died in Kennedy Crossing/Midland City/Sylvan Grove sometime between 1850 and 1860.



Brian Clark                   10/11/2006





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