Once upon a time about a century ago, almost half a century after the end of slavery, a young African girl named Manuela lived with her sickly grandmother and her alcoholic grandfather. The girl wanted a better life. She wanted to learn to read and write. She planned to go away to a boarding school and learn a trade so she could make a living.Every day she looked for an opportunity to learn and improve. She wasn’t the kind of girl who settled for conditions as they were. She hoped to do better, and she knew she could.
Times were hard for her. White people told her she was uppity, and some of them knocked her down. Black people expected her to accept her life the way it was, and some of them tried to break her spirit.No matter what came her way, she always found the good. Some terrible things happened to her, but I don’t want to spoil the story for you. I want you to read it or listen to it and discover how she claimed a victory, an everlasting victory. Lives like hers mattered. I’d like for you to see how her spirit lives on and on and on, even today.