Saturday, September 3, 2016

Boy Dressed in Sailor Suit
circa 1920s

This picture was found in the collection of my great grandmother Mary Byrd Markham of Lincoln County, Mississippi. The boy is likely a relative but I don't know his name.

6 comments:

  1. I have several photos of my father and his siblings dressed in sailor suits around that time. None quite like this one. I wonder if he was just dressed up for the photo or if the outfit was for some specific occasion.

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    1. I think the parents/grandparents had spare money to spend for a special photograph.

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    2. I should think that a studio photo would have itself been a special occasion back then. How things have changed.

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  2. I just love this photo, and I also love the one of you. I’ll use the sailor boy photo for my desktop photo for a while if you don’t object.

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    1. I don't object to you using this one for your desktop. This child was well loved.

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  3. Thank you. I'm sure enjoying it. That belt is a real hoot because it’s so big and holds up nothing but instead has to be held up by the little suit. Then too, his expression is so adorable despite his obvious discomfort. Not to forget the shoes. I see that kid and I think of the love that his family must have given him, and the good that they must have wanted for him, and then I consider all the doors that would have been closed to him by his race, and all the contempt he would have received for the same reason. I really have no words for my sadness for all the pain that so many people suffered for no justifiable reason. Yet, the fact that I didn’t suffer it causes me to feel—for the first time really—what I have heard called “white guilt.” I don’t see this as a rational feeling, but more like the feeling of someone who escaped being killed in a disaster that took the lives of his friends. Furthermore, I don’t know what to do with this feeling because I don’t regard it as virtue but as a liability that leads me to pity myself and others, and pity strikes me as alienating and condescending, which is the last thing that I want to feel or find useful to anyone else to feel. In fact, having this feeling makes me very angry at myself.

    I’m now reading “Devil’s Sanctuary” by Alex Alston Jr, and James L Dickerson, two white Mississippians. I think you would appreciate it. I was, of course, very young at the time the events in the book occurred—though not quite so young as you—plus I was unaccountably oblivious to so much that now seem obvious to me to have questioned. Now, I do question it, and I so want to understand it all.

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