In Carrie's Footprints. The Long Walk of Warren Dorsey.
What Have We Here?
Well, first off, this is Carrie Dorsey at 16, not long before she married Ed Dorsey in 1903. Her mother was a slave named Catherine. Catherine's father owned both her and her mother. He was a slave dealer working out of Marriottsville, Maryland.
The little fellow down below Carrie, with his homemade clothes and mop of curly hair, that’s Warren Dorsey, Carrie's ninth child, somewhere in the 1920s.
Warren turned 101 in November, 2021. Of Carrie's 12 children, only Warren and his sister, Rosie, who is 95, still remain. (Alas, this is no longer true. Warren died this summer of 2022, just a few months short of his 102nd birthday, due to complications caused by a bad car crash.)
So what’s the story about?
Well, lots of things.
It’s about being black in a segregated town in a segregated country. And being really poor, the grandson of a slave, sleeping three to a bed in a room so cold, you left a cup of water out over night, you had a cube of ice in the morning, living without electric and running water, walking over the course of several years 10,000 miles to and from school.
It's about pursuing a mother’s dreams. Working on farms for 10 cents an hour, hearing a farmer say, “Boy, you know a nigger ain’t got sense enough to teach.” Then proving him wrong 30 years later.
It's about living on pride, willpower, determination, hard work, and brains. Making it to college, getting sick twice and running out of money to see a doctor, watching the campus population dwindle as the world’s worst war drains it of men, winning a prestigious scholarship, only to lose it to the war, singing in a wartime army choir, meeting another singer in the USO club, and marrying her.
It’s about a small dying town. It’s about an impoverished black neighborhood in that small dying town. It’s about a slave, a slave’s daughter, a slave’s daughter’s troubled husband, and their struggle to survive.
It’s about sons and daughters and moms and dads. It’s about race and hardship and finding a way out and forward, no matter what. It’s about never giving up. It’s about endurance, confidence, faith, and family.
Or maybe it’s about more, or less, or something altogether different. Click the link and find out for yourself: In Carrie’s Footprints: The Long Walk of Warren Dorsey.