A Long Way Home by Marian Richardson Whetsell
Performed by Becky Shrimpton
A Long Way Home
@Marian Richardson Whetsell
Genre: Period Piece Drama
Logline: A young African-American girl in post-slavery era endures struggles & hardships to fulfill her dream to become a teacher.
Anna Maria is a typical mixed heritage child of the south who developed into a beautiful woman, from East Texas. She was from a poor but proud family who believed in hard work and deep Christian values. The civil war had recently ended & the thick smell of freedom electrified the air. Anna’s dream—to become a teacher! In the 1860’s change and reformation was the order of the day. The Indians and Black folks often co-habited together to survive. There was one particular family that aroused Anna’s interest. Why? Because, of a young brave by the name of Lonewolf. He was about the same age as she was and they seemed to hit it off right away. And, before long they were best friends.
Over the years, their friendship blossomed into love and one heated day, passion overtook them, resulting in her becoming pregnant, at the most difficult and unexpected time. You see, her family’s fresh planted crops, had been washed away by a sudden storm. Her father had borrowed money from the local white banker just to plant the crops.
Family discussions ensued about the two lovebirds and a decision was made for them to marry. A beautiful interfaith marriage ceremony took place in the community with all in attendance. But instead of an evening of wedded bliss, the newlyweds endured a night of pure hell. A Rusk insurgency sympathizer group attacked Lonewolf’s Cherokee encampment. Anna was rescued by her father and the Indians fled for their lives. Anna—a new bride—now a widow? She was alone, pregnant, enduring hardships and not knowing what, when or what to do! And, was still alone, when she bore a beautiful baby girl.
In the meantime, her family’s financial situation worsens. The family unit begun to disintegrate, after the local white banker’s demands became treacherous and seamy, taking direct aim at Anna’s pretty mother. In the ole’ south when money is owed—you pay—one way—or the other!
One day after discovering a lead on Lonewolf whereabouts, Anna struck out on horseback to find her long lost spouse. After a dangerous and frightful journey, she finally made to him—only to find, he had a new love—a maiden! Rejected and heartbroken, she returned home an embittered woman and threw herself into her studies. She graduated and was the only student accepted into college. Before long, Anna was off to her new life. There she found new friends and eventually a new love. But life always throws you a curveball, just when daylight is in sight. Her curveball—Lonewolf showing up at Tantamount College. When the old meet the new—fire ignites, in more ways than one. Anna Maria had some hard choices to makes and some difficult challenges to surmount. Would she be determined to meet her goal, or would she just plain give up. Which road would Anna take….Only Anna Maria knew—only Anna would know!