The Brazilians say "Garra" is grit; someone who has Garra will go the distance and never give up. The haunting Negro Spiritual, 'Follow the Drinking Gourd' was sung by slaves in the South to pass along secret directions to run-aways who journeyed on the underground railroad. The Big Dipper constellation in the sky which points North, guided someone's ancestors through dark dangerous pathways that ran throughout places like Maryland; a candle in the window gave them respite - hush, a 'safe-house'. They endured, they lived Garra until they saw the light of liberty.
“Children, if you get tired, keep going; if you are scared, keep going; if you are hungry, keep going; if you want to taste freedom ... keep going.” - Harriet Tubman
“When the sun comes back and the first quail calls, follow the Drinking Gourd”
a sip to bountiful ...
Since Slaves were forbidden to speak their native languages and freely express their spiritual ways; when forced to convert to Christianity to make them more docile workers, they could pray and sing together which helped them endure the hardships. The Negro Spiritual, such as "Wade in the Water" instructed fugitive slaves to leave dry land and take to the water to throw the pursuing bloodhounds off the trail. "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" also contained messages that were passed along the Underground Railroad as runaway slaves made their way to freedom.
"I did not, when a slave, understand the deep meanings of those rude, and apparently incoherent songs. I was myself within the circle, so that I neither saw or heard as those without might see and hear. They told a tale which was then altogether beyond my feeble comprehension; they were tones, loud, long and deep, breathing the prayer and complaint of souls boiling over with the bitterest anguish. Every tone was a testimony against slavery, and a prayer to God for deliverance from chains. The hearing of those wild notes always depressed my spirits, and filled my heart with ineffable sadness. The mere recurrence, even now, afflicts my spirit, and while I am writing these lines, my tears are falling. To those songs I trace my first glimmering conceptions of the dehumanizing character of slavery. I can never get rid of that conception. Those songs still follow me, to deepen my hatred of slavery, and quicken my sympathies for my brethren in bonds." - Frederick Douglass
... Why Black Lives Matter