Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Vintage browsing

This is Milli. She runs a quaint little vintage shop in the next town, Midland Park.

She's holding a parasol that I'll be buying to donate to my town's art in school program ,TICTOC (To Introduce Culture To Our Children).

Sometimes I encounter statutes like this painful visual evidence that life for black people during this period was, for most of us, a life of burden. I thought of my sons and how would it have been to have children during this period. Appreciating the beauty from an era of horrible terror for my ancestors is a serious dilemma for me and it makes me question my consciousness.

The final item I saw on my short vintage shopping spree was this great king sized crochet afghan - $8! What was to be a fun little shopping trip stopped me cold after seeing that statue. This blankie was a warm, symbolic comfort so I bought it as I went home.


Kirsten said...

It is painful to think of our collective past. Painful for me as a white woman to know what my ancestors did to an entire race of people. Our childern are our most cherished treasures, it is hard to imagine the parents who had to see theirs abused and destined to a life of servitude. There are times I think that we have come a long way, and others, like when I read your story of the night you were pulled over by the state trooper, that I realize we have such a very long way to go.
I hope you found comfort in the afghan.

sappmama said...

I know EXACTLY how you feel. My favorite decade is the 1950s -- for the fashion and the formality -- but somewhere in the back of my mind is the fact that, had I been alive back then, I likely would have been faced with a life of toil in the workplace, segregation and humiliation just about everywhere, and possibly socially condoned domestic abuse. And if I were in the south, God help me. Many of the things that make me love the 50s played almost no part in the lives of my family members. They were too busy trying to stay alive.

I think of all this, then I think of all those who fought and died so I could sit here at my little tidy desk at work and go home and knit and write in peace, and I'm just thankful. I bow to them, because they envisioned this better world for me (and I can do the same for those who will come after), and I know because they did, it's okay for me to live in it.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Kirsten I cringe when I see art like this statue too. The idea of glorifying something so horrendous really makes me stop and think about what in the world someone else was thinking. Have they no shame, no morality, what kind of cruel idealogy? Then I realize the lessons we can learn, to be NICE to each other, treat each other with kindness and respect and not use labels as describtors for each other (and why the heck I need to say I'm a white woman, like it really matters?).

Those statues (like the awful lawn jockeys) are in a shameful way, great reminders of what NOT to do or let happen to anyone ever again.

Thank you for showing us this. It is good to remember where we've been and sadly, how far we still have to go. I would like to buy it just to smash it with you. We could have a little bonfire party or something and knit something together!! A new blankie!!! Hmm, I'm thinking some thoughts, a black/white blankie all stitched together by us-together.

AR said...

Yeah, that statue shocked me for a minute, just thinking that some of my nephews still face racism every day pisses me off. The afghan is pretty, though, glad your day wasn't totally ruined. $8 for king sized and handmade. Nice.