Monday, September 29, 2008

Photography: This Year's Cotton Crop

These are some photos I took on the way to North Carolina two weeks ago. I love taking pictures of cotton. It's part of my heritage and who I am. Many of us (white and black Americans) would like to forget about the not so distant past when African Americans were slaves in this country, but it's difficult for me to forget because my family never completely left the county our ancestors were enslaved in. Therefore, I celebrate the beauty of that heritage in writing, pictures, and song (when I learn how to play an instrument or sing). *smile* I embrace and love that part of me that touches down deep...deep in my soul. Peace~


Babz Rawls Ivy said...

Hey Stephen Bess,
Cotton photographs beautifully. Yes our history is rich and painful. My maternal grandparents are from NC. They amassed a large farm...which I own today. They grew cotton....lots of cotton. They were just above being sharcroppers if there is such a thing. I remember going there and watching folks picking cotton and running throw the fields and trying to stay out of the way. And how nice folks were and how they had really big meals for lunch and always shared with us.

Thanks for bringing a memory of my grandparents to me. I have not thought of that in a long long time.

Geoffrey Philp said...

Stephen, I love the juxtaposition in the last photo and I also suspect that there's a poem lurking behind this post and the photos--so much history!


Anonymous said...

It's really a very relieving sight to see cotton balls spitting out of their once young buds. I can remember we used to have a few in the backyard but lost them afterwards, maybe because I was too young to realize about cottons.

Now all I can do is miss that sight so much until I see it here in your blog. Thank you for reminding me again of my happy childhood, now worries and problems on food and politics and greedy people fighting not because of principles but of who gets the bigger share of the red tape money.

Sandy said...

There you go picking cotton again... :) I've never told you but you have a great eye! your photography is the bomb! hope all is well with you homie and happy belated birthday :)

Sista GP said...

i recall driving through rural georgia and explaining to my son how the cotton crops became clothing. he was so amazed.

Cergie said...

I like this pictures that you liked to take. They are a symbol of your memory of course.
In the past even in Europe the ancestors of most people had no rights. In the world there are still slaves ; children working for food instead of learning at school.
Hope all of that will be just memory, one day...

M. Akamau said...

We have some cotton in our living room, on the shelf of our entertainment center. It stays there day after day...a reminder of who we are and where we've come from. The fabric of our lives, right?

Take care,

fitzgerald said...

Great photos and I like to think back to when cotton was king too.

Your pictures cause me to hear the harmonica music playing as our people entertained themselves after spending a hard day of working the cotton fields.

Stephen A. Bess said...

Thank you for sharing that wonderful story.

Poem lurking? Always. :)

I happy to provide relief from this mess. Thanks for stopping in.

Why you ain't never tell me that I have a good eye, but I can't speak good English.

It's good to make that connection. That was a learning moment.

Thanks for sharing that from a global perspective. Good to see you.

Most definitely sister. Good to see you. Be well.

You know I gotta learn that harmonica man! Give me some time.

J.M said...

Let me take a hit at that poem:

For Martin

Fluffy puffs adrift
like dreams
in the wind
heading to a place
where they distill
and clothe the earth
in green.

Stephen A. Bess said...

I love it. :)

Professor Zero said...

Gorgeous post. Someone here is growing cotton as an ornamental plant in their yard, and it's marvelous. I need to get some, too.

Rose said...

You take some magnificent pictures. I tried to pick cotton when I was 13 in Itta Bena Miss. I almost fainted and they took me back to my aunt's house on the back of a truck. Your pictures just made me remeber how hard that was and how blessed I was that I didn't have to stay and pick to help the family.

neena maiya (guyana gyal) said...

My mother used to sing them ole African-American songs to me as a child, she even knows the stories behind the songs, the cotton reminds me of them songs.

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