There is no greater life experience that that of being loved. For Injambay, a slave in Mississippi, his love experience is one that he only shared with one other person Cormah. Cormah was a fellow slave who was also from Nigeria. The love that these two men shared with each other was one that they had to hide from not only the other slaves but especially the Master of the plantation. Injambay put his focus on keeping the relationship a secret while falling deeper and deeper in love with him. All they wanted was to be able to be normal. A couple that didn’t have to hide their love for one another. But it was a scary line to walk being slaves and also being in a relationship. Years pass, they have been able to find their footing in hiding their affection. Seeing each other in passing. Spending time late night in their quarters. Smiling and laughing quietly, hugging and kissing but hidden, it was their normal and one they were willing to accept if it kept them safe. They promised each other they would die loving each other, and they did. They made one mistake, falling asleep in each other’s’ arms one night and waking up to a gun in their faces. The end of their love story is not unlike the end of the lives of hundreds of thousands of slaves. One of torture and pain, one where hearts are more broken than bones, and one where the spirit of a loving wonderful person dies in their blood drifting by on the Mississippi river.
Love By The River
I’m one of the lucky ones. I get to live the rest of my life hopefully right here, where I am so that I can see him every day. He’s right over there, one mile out and one mile to the right, down by the river. Always follow the river. When we are about to die, you’ll look back over your life and wonder, if you really did all of the things that you were put here to do. I been right here for years. Sometimes I wonder maybe if God got it wrong. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a believer...but I just... wonder. If I was supposed to be or do or become something more than what I have become. So many things holding me back, holding us back. It’s more than physical it’s mental. It messes with your mind, it messed with mine. These chains. This plantation. Master, the big house and all of the constraints that being a slave in Mississippi puts on a man or a woman or even a child. All I can do is believe that one day before I die, I will be able to remove these chains and simply walk, with my head up, making eye contact as the man that I was put here to be. That’s the first thing I’m going do when I get my freedom, walk, freely, down to the river... See him one more time before I go on home. At this point, that’s all I want.