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Glory Field - Lewis Family
Transcript of Glory Field - Lewis Family
Off the coast of Sierra Leone, West Africa March 1864
Live Oaks Plantation
Curry Island, South Carolina Lizzy April 1900
Curry Island, South Carolina Elijah Lewis May 1930
Chicago, Illinois Luvenia Lewis August 1994 - Harlem, New York Malcolm Lewis Muhammad Tommy Lewis January 1964
Johnson City, South Carolina Born 1743
Eleven years old
Shackled to a slave ship headed to America Born 1850
Adopted six years ago by the Lewis family after her mother died
Life is tense at Live Oaks. Joshua and Lem have run away and all Lewis slaves are worried about them.
Whipped by Mister Joe Haynes after she is caught bringing water to Lem.
After being rescued by Joshua, Lizzy is forced to run away with Joshua and Lem.
While being chased, Lizzy and Lem are separated from Joshua, but meet up with him again at a Yankee camp. At the camp they encounter both black and white soldiers fighting for the Union. Born 1885 - Son of Lizzy and Richard Lewis
Elijah lives on the Lewis family land that borders Live Oaks, the Glory Field, with his grandparents Moses and Saran
The Lewis family is thirty five dollars short of paying their taxes. In an effort to prove they are men, and save the family farm, Elijah and his cousin Abby, take a great risk by volunteering to save David Turner.
Elijah and Abby set out aboard the Pele Queen, determined to find David, but are soon joined by Sheriff Glover, who does not trust, or feel they deserve the reward money.
After recovering David, Elijah and Abby receive half the reward money. Sheriff Glover takes the other half.
Determined to provide for his family, Elijah speaks with Mr. Turner, seeking the full thirty five dollars.
With the money secured to save the family land, Elijah returns home to discover that Frank Petty, a white man, is threatening to beat him as a result of an earlier altercation.
Elijah is forced to flee his home on a train headed for Canada.
Before he leaves Grandpa Moses gives Elijah a set shackles saying, "'The first black man that we can remember in our family come here wearing these,' he said. 'This is where we come from, and what we overcome. It's up to you where you go from here. You hear that?'" Born 1914 - Daughter of Elijah and Goldie Lewis
Luvenia lives in Chicago, while the rest of her family has returned to Curry Island to help care for the family land. Luvenia has no family in the area, but has a very close relationship with her godmother, Miss Etta.
Luvenia dreams of attending college, but in order to secure a loan, she must have a guaranteed income.
Luvenia works as a live-in maid for the Deets family. When she approached Mrs. Deets for a letter of guaranteed employment, Mrs. Deets lectures her on honesty and "reaching beyond yourself". Frustrated, Luvenia pursues the Deets' daughter, Florenz, as her next best hope.
Florenz and her friend Katie soon rope Luvenia into their plan to deceive Mr. Deets into allowing them to drive his car. Claiming Luvenia is having "female trouble" and is "in the family way", Florenz tricks her father into allowing her to drive for emergency reasons. Soon after they begin the drive, Katie and Florenz dismiss Luvenia, and she is left to walk home. Upon arriving home, Luvenia receives a telegram from Mr. Deets informing her that her services will no longer be required.
Desperately needing a job to ensure a chance at college, Luvenia attempts to get her job back from the Deets'. Her pleas fall on deaf ears as Mr. Deets cannot "compromise on the standards" he has for his "domestic help". Mr. Deets does agree to give Luvenia a good reference.
With Miss Etta's promise of a rent party to help raise money to purchase the products she needs to start a business styling hair, Luvenia writes to her parents that she will be staying in Chicago. Born 1947 - The grandson of Abby Lewis, and the son of Robert "Planter" and Virginia Lewis.
Tommy is a star player on the Curry Cougar basketball team. Tommy's coach introduces him to Mr. Chase, a recruiter for Johnson City State. Mr. Chase offers Tommy the opportunity to skip his last year of high school and integrate State.
Tommy's discussion with his parents is interrupted when Skeeter, a white friend of the family, needs their help seeking treatment from a rattlesnake bite. Tommy and his father willingly help Skeeter, but must wait for him outside of the white hospital.
The Lewis house becomes the gathering place for a meeting with Reverend McKinnon regarding recent racial tensions and an upcoming civil rights march.
After talking with his employer, Tommy starts to think more about the color divide in his community, always aware of his scholarship opportunities, although a phone call from Mr. Chase warns Tommy to, "Just make sure you don't get caught up in any demonstrations or anything."
Cautious of participating in the march, Tommy watches everything unfold and is changed by the aftermath, including the brutal beating of Skeeter who dared show his support for the black community.
After a restless night, Tommy attends a press conference held by Sheriff Moser. In response to the sheriff's comments Tommy chains himself to the sheriff. "it's the chain used to bring the first of my family to Johnson City over two hundred years ago!"
"'They didn't give us the keys', Tommy answered. 'Just the chains.'" Born 1979 - The son of Charles and Celia Lewis. Great-nephew of Luvenia. Cousin of Sheppard "Shep" Lewis.
With the exception of the Glory Field, which will remain a garden area, the Lewis family land has been sold and will soon become a tourist resort and the family is gathering to bring in the last sweet potato crop. Malcolm is in no hurry to join his parents at the reunion, and would rather stay and work with his band, String Theory. At the insistence of his employer and great-aunt, Luvenia (the owner of a nation-wide beauty supply business), he begrudgingly agrees to escort his cousin Shep, a homeless crack addict, to the event.
Shep insist to Malcolm he is responsible enough to manage his share of the money Luvenia provided for their transportation. The next day, Malcolm finds Shep, who claims to have been robbed of his travel money. Looking for another way to Curry Island, Malcolm uses his airfare to purchase two bus tickets.
Suffering from withdrawal, Shep's actions get the boys removed from the bus, which leaves a diner without them. With no other options, the boys are forced to accept a ride in the cargo hold of a truck hauling animal hides.
When they finally arrive on the Lewis family land, they join their family bringing in the crop. It is here we learn from Jennie, Tommy's wife, that Tommy was killed in the Vietnam War.
While working the fields, Malcolm is paired with Tommy's father Planter. As they work the crop together, Planter teaches Malcolm about the strength and bonds of family, the importance of being a Lewis (including the story of the slave chains, which Planter purchased during a police auction), and the courage that comes from everyone, even Shep. Planter leaves Malcolm with the advice, "'A man's name is what he makes it.' 'Malcolm is a good, strong name. You made it that way, the same way you're making Lewis a good, strong name."
Now in college, after attending Planter's funeral, Malcolm receives a package containing the shackles. "The weight of the shackles gave substance to all the people who had worn them, and who had triumphed in spite of them. They gave weight, even, to those who had been broken by them, or by the invisible shackles they had found along their way."