I'm sure Mr. Douglass needs no introduction although this post isn't absolutely about him because we dust him off and drag him out every February for Black History Month. What's left to say about FD that hasn't been said before. He's handsome? I won't insult the man, so I'll tell you, maybe yet again, about the history behind the postcard. No, no, no.The card must speak for itself first.
"I just wanted to wish you two a Happy Juneteenth. Take care. Love you alot. Tammy." That's the kind of friend she was. Although Juneteenth is a Texas celebration, my friend cared enough to share this month of moments in American history.
We met in art school. We remained friends . . . A postage stamp cost twenty-five cents in 1990, and we lived in Easley, SC, one of the most racist towns in America. I unknowingly walked in on a clan meeting my first month there, and to give them credit, they were so taken aback by my ignorance (?), they were polite and . . . See, it was inside a little country store that sold slices from blocks of cheese, icy Cokes in the old fashioned coolers with the bottle top remover on its side. I waxed nostalgic while the clerk rang up my purchases--never saying a word beyond the amount I owed. I didn't know what I'd done until after I told my new friend about finding such a quaint place, and she explained things. The moral: Being nice can save you life? Ignorance can be an innocent defense?
Then again, Erin and I witnessed our first clan rally in downtown Easley. Stunned, angry, and hurt, I rolled down my window and screamed, "Can I join???" at the head idiot holding a recruitment sign on the sidewalk, not knowing a news reporter was filming the scene. I was part of that night's newscast, identified as an unidentified woman asking if she could join the KKK. The most frightening part of the event was the primal flux of emotions that coursed through me. I still don't understand how idiots think bedsheets and burning crosses are meant to frighten people. I pray that I never "get it" because if I did I'd have to get inside the mind of someone who thinks that way.
Of course my postcard to Tammy is oldish, has my finger prints in plain sight, and it is upside down. But I give her Lady Day in return. In my mind she sings "Strange Fruit" on repeat until I cry. Then I laugh. Tammy and I are polite from-a-distance-friends, yet friends nonetheless, since we share a history unlike any I've ever had before. We are forever friends. Her son, Daniel, is a teen now. I bought his first pair of shoes, enough onesies, and everything I imagined a newborn boy might need right away, except for a teething ring the week I heard of his birth, he and I have never met.
I wrote a letter last night. A pen friend visited Japan recently. Guess who found this stationery two days ago? Stationery from an ex-pen friend no less. Life has its mysteries.
Brown Girl mail goes out tomorrow too, 'cause brown girls lift themselves up! I do believe my mojo is on its way back. There's a lot of mail that needs answering, unless I claim Mail Amnesty first! And I'll play the card if I still feel overwhelmed. A little mail is better than no mail, and the mail police cannot put me in jail! *grin*
Write on, and on, and on!