Ma-taha By: Antonio Corona

In August of 2007, while driving to work one summer morning, I turned on the radio to listen to music. Instead, I heard a discussion about slavery; when slavery was legal in America.

The conversation was about the horrendous cruelty and atrocious, heartlessness dealt from one human being to another.

Something triggered in my mind. I was overcome by memories of myself as Ma-taha, a young slave girl living in Mississippi in the 1800’s. I was so scared that I had to stop driving and pulled off of the road. My head was suddenly filled with images of unknown faces. Slaves with broken legs, slaves tied to trees being whipped as an example for the others. I saw images of slaves waiting in line to be branded like cattle.

I just could not believe what was happening to me… memories of a past life. I felt that I had just seen a movie about myself, from the age of 9 until I died in 1865. I felt the pain and the suffering, the rape, the hanging of myparents. It made me sad, and filled me with anger toward white people. I felt that I was back in time, living again as Ma-taha.

This story is my memory, my first-hand account of life, as Ma-taha..