3 Responses to “Ah’s Pinin’ Fo A Letter”

  1. Allee Willis

    I have to be very careful with stuff like this because of my history with classic African-American work, not the least of which is The Color Purple. So many people I’ve worked with have been offended while many are completely fine.But to be safe I distance myself because I’m aware of the sensitivity. My earliest collection of black memorabilia included things like Sambos and Mammies and it was James Brown himself who walked through my house with me and cleared out any of the stuff that could possibly offend anyone. My greeting card collection bit the dust then too. This one seems relatively inoffensive though. I love the cobweb inside the mailbox. It’s very Celie waiting 30 years to get a letter from Nettie.

  2. Douglas Wood

    Some black memorabilia is really beautiful and it’s also fascinating from a historical perspective, in the same way that anti-Semitic caricatures one sees at Holocaust museums are,
    but I’m with Allee that it just seems wrong to display these items as decorative or amusing when they’re so painful/hurtful to so many people. And I once read that Diana Ross always buys any black memorabilia she sees, just to get it off the market, then destroys it. I’m sure she wouldn’t be thrilled with this card due to the offensive stereotypical dialect and grammar.

    I once saw a piece of black memorabilia at an estate sale and the label said, “N—-r boy.” I told one of the workers that she should get rid of, or rewrite the label because it’s racist and she chuckled and cluelessly said, “Oh, no! Not at all! Where I come from (Britain) it’s just an expression and we used it all the time when I was a kid!” then to my horror and mortification recited, “Eenie, Meenie, Miney Mo, catch a n____r by the toe!” Needless to say, I immediately left (and actually bypassed perusing a lot of great stuff, which is something I don’t normally do!)

    This submission is very timely given the Dr. Laura debacle that happened last week. Not to anyone’s surprise, she displayed her racism and meanness and truly ugly side when she used the “n” word many times and told a listener she was being oversensitive when she gets upset at her white husband’s friends using the “n” word and making other racist comments. It’s so sad that there are still so many people out there like Dr. Laura who are not only racist but are too ignorant to even recognize it in themselves. (Her apology was one of those non-apologies that doesn’t take full responsibility but simply explains she’s sorry it hurt anyone because that wasn’t her intention.)