I know who you see when they look at me. But that’s not who I am. Why should I have to explain myself to strangers for them only to say I’m lying.
I’ve constructed a life for myself in which the question of “who are you” doesn’t come up. It’s easier to let people make assumptions about me that to disabuse them of their misconceptions; to tell them the truth.
I know I am a Black woman, even if that is not who you see. According to colorism I’m “light, bright and nearly white”. I’m a living example that race is a social construct.
Now, when sitting on the sidelines is not an option, I want other Black people to see me as Black. Black people hate me for my privilege: to pass, to go unnoticed. What double edge sword. Did I benefit from the privilege of passing as white? My Dad would say, that was the point. He didn’t look white, but he wanted to be accepted everywhere, as he was told he could be. It was the early 1970s after all.
I made this video as a final assignment for my Digital Media class. Dr. Stacey Patton generously taught about 200 adults skills to tell their stories. Tell the stories for the ancestors and for the decedents. Let the future know how one person felt in this time, at this place, for me, to me.
This is the second time I received this instruction. During the summer term I skimmed the surface, but didn’t dig deep enough until the very end to really understand how to let go, how to give in, how to tell the truth. It is easy for me to share about my work. It’s much hard than for me to share about myself. I am learning. It becomes easier with practice.
Typically, the quilts I make incorporate many fabrics, often chosen at random. So, purchasing fabric to fulfill a design vision is a luxury for me. This is one more video for my magnum opus of 2020: Chroma Corona.
I really wanted my quilt to be part of the Lyndon House Arts Center’s 46th Juried Exhibition, mainly because the reception for the last show in 2020 was the last public event I attended before covid changed everything. There are other paths for this quilt. I’ll keep you posted.
My constant memory from childhood is my father working around the house. Renovating and restoring beautiful old homes. Hours spent stripping wood and sanding floors. Mom was right there, helping. It seemed like there was nothing he couldn’t do.
After years of work restoring and revitalizing homes in Aiken, SC. the city showered him with honors this year. Luckily, it was all before Covid and quarantine.
Home for me is where I get a big hug, a pat on the back, and a quiet “there, there”. This summer this was more important than ever before. Sitting at home worrying about the pandemic was taking a toll on me.
I did what every mother’s child would do: I went home to Mom and Dad. By visiting them and facing my fears by getting returning to campus for work, I was on the road to recovery.
I am so much better mentally, with the help of my family and a few close friends. My job is secure at this point and my husband was able to retire recently. I feel lucky and know so many are suffering beyond my imagination. I wanted to share my story, of how the pandemic has effected me, so far.