Monday, October 31, 2005

Connected To Cotton


This is my view I get whenever I travel to North Carolina during the Fall season. I never get used to the splendor of the cotton fields when I am driving down Hwy 125/903 south. My grandfather spoke of picking cotton just to feed his family. That made me proud when he told me that because he did whatever he had to do to take care of his family; I'd like to think that I would do the same. I thought of him as I traveled back on Sunday listening to Curtis Mayfield (I listen to Curtis whenever I travel on Hwy 125...it's my little tradition). I listened to my music and I thought of grandfather as I looked across the cotton fields as far as the eye could see. The cotton field. It's a beautiful sight connected to an ugly past.

13 comments:

Groove said...

I love the last line in this post...

"It's a beautiful sight connected to an ugly past"

...So true.

baysuite said...

Soft spoken is right...there is an odd beauty to this scene --- in more ways than one. Thanks for the pictures you post; they just bring everything to life.

Peace,
Bay

Stephen Bess said...

Soft Spoken-
Thanks for stopping by. I have the same feeling with cotton as I have for the US Flag. They are both beautiful to behold, but they're also connected to a past that was very painful for generations of Africans born in this country. As a matter of fact, I like to refer to Sam as our perverted uncle or perverted Uncle Sam. I appreciate your compliment on my line about the cotton. Take care.

Baysuite-
Yes, I am very visual. I think the old axiom mentions that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, you know how short my words can be in relation to this blog. The pictures help me drive my point home. I'm glad that you like them. Peace, Bay.

Tryphina said...

I would rather be with a man who picks cotton to maintain his pride and dignity, than to be with a PhDed nincampoop accepting hand-outs while waiting for a suitable job...

Stephen Bess said...

Haaa haaa!!! :) I hear that Tryphina! There are many who would do just that to avoid working a co called "menial" job.

David E. Patton said...

When I was a kid I use to vist my grandmother who we called Bidmama and even tho we were kids we would have to go to the field with her and other to pick cotton, this was in the early 50s. I rememeber the long sack that we would use, draging it alone behind us.
David

Stephen Bess said...

Gotta love Bigmama! :)That's a beautiful image. Thanks for stopping by David.

ProfessorGQ said...

nice pictures and it's great that you learned something valuable from your grandpa...

Stephen Bess said...

Thanks professor. Our elders have so much to teach us don't they? We only need to listen and pay attention.

JenellyBean said...

I've never seen a cotton field before.
It sure is purty.

And that last line sure is deep....

Stephen Bess said...

Yeah, you can't find too many cotton fields once you get past VA going north. It's a wonderful sight...at least I thinks so. :)

Michael J. West said...

What impresses me the most is that you see a beautiful sight there...all I've ever been able to see is the ugly past.

S Bess said...

MJW-
Hello! I don't Know why I think it's beautiful but I do? Perhaps, the beauty is in that connection with those who came before me. Thanks for digging in the crates.

Rhiannon Giddens- "Julie"

Rhiannon Giddens' music is based on a collective number of slave narratives. This is an absolutely beautiful way to preserve the his...