Being an Interior Design nerd/nutcase I often find myself window shopping in home decor venues. This season has brought about some amazing colors and textures, and I’m always looking for something that POPS. I wasn’t expecting it to be cotton.
Honestly I was shocked to see it in home stores. I never considered cotton, with it’s aesthetic beauty to be something that I’d put on display. I emotionally tied it to slavery, pain, humiliation and anguish and wasn’t even aware of it.
While browsing for field trips for the family, I came across an exhibition called “Cotton the Dangerous Beauty of the Past” which is currently on display at The African American Museum in Philadelphia,by artist John E. Dowell
The ancestors must’ve felt my discontent and placed this in my path. After going through and experiencing the beauty and pain of a simple plant, I feel more at ease.
Not because I’m dismissing the brutality accompanying cotton, but because it is appropriately acknowledged. The artist even has a hands on section with an alter where one can leave photos of their ancestors and reflect our ties to the plant.
That part hit me like a brick.
If you’re in town, I’d recommend visiting the exhibit and reflecting on your ties to cotton.