Monday, May 24, 2010
PIECING MY FAMILY STORY
When is a HOUSE A HOUSE.... and a home a home?
When is a shack a shanty....does the coin-value denote the worth of a slave quarter next to the the BIG HOUSE????
Is this my 40 ACRES AND MY MULE??? ++ 200 YEARS LATER ?? !!
In this later half-century of my life (with grandchildren of my own, and my mother turning 84 yrs this summer) I have been engrossed with the intertwining of our family roots. Lucinda - really no-name -- but assigned the name of the field master "SMITH" by Captain James A. Anderson, the Irish slavemaster who fathered at least 7 children by Lucinda... She bore a total of 14 children per 1900 census wherein her approx date of birth was listed as 1848.
It is in this vein.... that I am engrossed with the reading of American History. Highschool couldn't mean a thing, and a college textbook was a memorized "B". There has always been the living reality of our "passing white" Big Mama, as well as Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher whose 1948 Supreme Court Case (..vs Univ Of Oklahoma Law School).
But whatever reasons, a light cloud was always overcast, and questions were not asked... I learned from Aunt Lois in class and in her speaking engagements. But in the last few years.... I am aggressively piecing together.........MY FAMILY STORY!
AAAAHAAAA ah-haaaa.....PIECING TOGETHER...... MY LIFE STORY WILL BE BROUGHT TO LIFE IN THE TOUCHABLE, READABLE QUILT THAT CAN BE PASSED TO MY GRANDCHILDREN!
And this is what I envision in artistic expressions of women like Heather Williams, Kyra Hicks, Dr. Mazloomi, Maya Angelo and others before me who create, research and highlight the style of African American quilts and the symbolism there within the quilting. I find myself continually...... not in the Euro-American tightly structured star blocks and geese and 9-patches.... but I do love to make these patterns.... BUT
But where I truly find my delight and self-expression coming into play is with a topic... And it's a rather dark --- my family thinks of me as radical, almost negative with the MLK and Malcom X, H-Rap Brown and Angela Y. Davis mentality of the 60-70's. But I must express my past. It's where I find my fulfillment.... in putting American History ---- African-Black-folk history into quilt images!!!
yea... am I a happy campter or what! Praise the Lord!