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Afrocity Stitch n’ Bitch:Mending the Difficult Threads Of An American Quilt

"Bible quilt", by Harriet Powers.

"Bible quilt", by Harriet Powers 1886. Powers (1837-1910) was an African American slave, folk artist and quilt maker from rural Georgia.

Cross posted at: Autographed Letter Signed (Afrocity)

Afrocity is angry. The politics of memory is much like a loaded gun. Legacy, accolades, tributes, multi-million dollar book deals, memorials are all things bestowed upon those who bear the title COMMANDER IN CHIEF.

I understand that. However, I will not owe my success as a woman- a black woman- a human being- to a man (a member of the patriarchy) who has yet to accomplish anything besides being America’s “first black president”.


American Quilter: Harriet Powers (1837-1910)

This week, I was the unfortunate witness to a very sad and inappropriate situation. I saw an African American woman of note and talented in her own right, have to answer a question about how Barack Obama has changed her work. The question carried the “would your work still hold the same relevance had you started now that Obama is president rather than in the 1990’s. ” tone.

WTF???? I was outraged that once again another great exchange of dialogue has been hijacked by Barack Obama.

Admittedly, the conversation was about race and cultural pursuits such as dance, music, and art. But up until the mention of Obama’s name, it had nothing to do with political figures or even politics in general. The mere mention of our president’s name took the dialogue on a 10 minute detour.

  1. I watched Alex Haley’s Roots and Roots II: The Next Generations
  2. I sat in school ever so, the model black child as I was taught about the importance of Martin Luther King Jr. not only to blacks but to all Americans.
  3. I have read canonical texts in African American literature . (The Color Purple, Beloved, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Native Son, A Raisin in the Sun)
  4. I had a set of black history flash cards.

See I have paid my black dues but sorry Barry, I am just not that into you. You are no Martin Luther King Jr. in my book and you will never be until you accomplish something that is equal or exceeding him in merit and elbow grease. Continue reading


Wednesday: We Have Overcome

Celebrating in Grant Park

Celebrating in Grant Park

For those of us who grew up in the 60’s and later, this is a moment we have all been waiting for practically all of our lives.  Yesterday, something truly transformative happened.  This country was built by the hands of slaves, wrenched from their homes, stacked into ships, auctioned at markets, separated from their children, subject to beatings, rape, shackles and decades of apartheid.  Martin Luther King Jr. told us about his dream.  A dream where we would be judged by the content of our characters, not the color of the skin.  Last nght, we overcame the color of the skin barrier.  For this, we should all be very happy.

Take time to celebrate this moment in history.  It is as important as Neil Armstrong’s walk on the moon.  Today, backs will stand a little straighter and the words of Martin Luther King Jr. will ring throughout the land.  “Free at last, Free at last, thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”