CNN story about James “Little Man” Presley- retiring after 72 years in the cotton fields of Mississippi’s Sr Producer, Wayne Drash, shares a part of history and his story as he opens up about how his great grandfather hired James “Little Man” Presley at the age of 5, following the death of his (James’s) father, to work the family’s cotton fields.  After 72 years of picking cotton for this family, James “Little Man” Presley is retiring.

Since I can’t embed the CNN video, click HERE and then let me know what you think.

I’m a little conflicted watching this.  It reminds me of an elder I know that is still cleaning the same family’s home for the past, I don’t know, say 40+ years.  Never on a payroll.  Never had health benefits.  I even wonder if the family even had the courtesy to keep up with minimum wage.

To me, I say fuck loyalty!  How dare this be likened to the American Dream or call him the Unsung Civil Rights Hero!  I would have rather the story include something about how Wayne Drash’s great grandfather encouraged James to go to college, if not for him, then maybe his wife or their children.  Something more than a loyal black man who is in what I see as modern day slavery.

Don’t get me wrong, I admire James for his life of hard labor.  I couldn’t do it.  I pay tribute to him for remaining in the south when many were escaping slavery.  I praise him for marrying his wife Eva May and fathering 10 children and 6 grandchildren.  I just wish he was  given some choices along the way.

That’s just me.

What do you think?

Maybe Oprah will see this story and write James “Little Man” Presley a fat check.    😉

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