Thursday, February 02, 2012

Baby Dashiki

I really don't want to start a flame war about whether we should set aside the shortest month of the year for black history month or if we should teach an inclusive and more complete history year round*.

But, Baby X's mom asked for a baby dashiki for February. And who can say no to this face?

This is the most adorable thing I have sewn since Iris was a baby. Could you ask for a better model/recipient?
  • Pattern: self-drafted based on the 2T T-shirt pattern from Kwik Sew's Sewing for Toddlers
  • Fabric: 2/3 of a yard of African print cotton from SAS
  • Notions: scraps of interfacing and a little bit of black thread
  • Construction: flat-felled seams at the shoulder, sleeves and sides (kids are very sensitive to scratchy seams)
I want to share a link I found via Kottke.
Letters of Note: To My Old Master
In August of 1865, a Colonel P.H. Anderson of Big Spring, Tennessee, wrote to his former slave, Jourdon Anderson, and requested that he come back to work on his farm. Jourdon — who, since being emancipated, had moved to Ohio, found paid work, and was now supporting his family — responded spectacularly by way of the letter seen below (a letter which, according to newspapers at the time, he dictated).
Many have quoted the paragraph below.
As to my freedom, which you say I can have, there is nothing to be gained on that score, as I got my free papers in 1864 from the Provost-Marshal-General of the Department of Nashville. Mandy says she would be afraid to go back without some proof that you were disposed to treat us justly and kindly; and we have concluded to test your sincerity by asking you to send us our wages for the time we served you. This will make us forget and forgive old scores, and rely on your justice and friendship in the future. I served you faithfully for thirty-two years, and Mandy twenty years. At twenty-five dollars a month for me, and two dollars a week for Mandy, our earnings would amount to eleven thousand six hundred and eighty dollars.
But no one has mentioned the inherent sexism in it. Jourdan Anderson, a freed slave, takes it for granted that his wife's labor should be valued so much less than his own labor.

Does she work less hard? I doubt it.

He simply does not question a system where women's work is worth less than men's.

Just as his former master does not question a system where a white man can own the labor of a black man.

* No, I don't want a Women's history month, thankyouverymuch.

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