Seeing the exhibits and watching the videos nearly brought me to tears. Also knowing inside that not very much has changed in this country for Black Americans yet we persevere.
Tarabu Betserai Kirkland at home in Los Angeles with his mother, Mamie Lang Kirkland, 109, who fled Mississippi at age seven. 2017. (Photo: Kris Graves for the Equal Justice Initiative)
My Grandfather William Junius Palmer with some of his children at Mt. Morris Park aka Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem. Photo taken in the 1920s. My Grandfather left Virginia as a young man. He was part of what is known as The Great Migration. Lynchings were the major catalyst to caused Black Americans to be refugees in their own country. My Dad told me that my Grandfather never discussed his youth or his past.
My Grandfather’s Silence speaks volumes to me over the years.
If you want to share a literal image of the actual word, do that. But if you’d rather play with word association, post something that reminds you of the specific word, or something you use the word for, do so. It only has to make sense to you. Have fun and keep on photographing!
This week’s word is Family!
My Family Past and Present from the 19th Century to the 21st Century!
Grandfather William Palmer with 4 of his children 1923
My Grandmother Eva Sophronia Gordon Palmer
My Dad Edward Gordon Palmer
My Aunt Thelma Palmer Varner
Me and Dad
2002 MMC Graduate
Family Photo Collage
Family Photo Collage
Mom & Dad
My Dad Edward G. Palmer
My Dad Edward G. Palmer
Aunt Carrie ~~ George Gordon’s Sister
Fredrick H. Halstead_Sept. 6, 1898_Little’s Brother
Paint a picture with words, capture someone on film, sketch a face in the crowd — this week, share a portrait.
Eva Sophronia Gordon born 1891. Married William Junius Palmer January 1919. First child Stanley born September 1919 died of Polio. Daughters Helen, Thelma and Eva all Lived. Eva’s twin William born 1922 also died of polio. Her last child my Father Edward Gordon Palmer was born 1930. He was the only boy to survive. His nickname was Precious.
I often wonder how my grandmother coped with losing two of her children but I suppose in those days there was little time to grieve plus eventually other children to care for. My Grandmother was a member of Mother Zion A.M.E. church so I’m sure that gave her comfort.
My Grandmother Eva was my Grandfather’s second wife. His first wife died and he needed a wife to care for him plus his first set of kids. My Grandmother needed a husband so as the story goes it was arranged for my Grandmother to cook my Grand Dad a meal. Must have been a good meal because they got married and stayed married until the early 1960s when they passed away.
Funerals tend to present you with unexpected family information on or about people you never knew existed. In May 1995 when my father Edward G. Palmer passed away I encountered some cousins I never knew I had. What shocked me was the man telling me that we were related was a tall white guy with blue eyes!! Then the stories of my Grandfather’s first wife began to make sense and the reason why he had a sudden departure from Petersburg, VA. His first wife was white! All during my childhood I had heard how my grandparents took in these kids, white kids but as I grew up that made no sense. Jim Crow was the law of the land and Miscegenation (whites marrying Blacks and vice versa) was a crime (Miscegenation Law was not abolished until 1968). I suppose my grandparents had to come up with some kind of story so that’s the tale I was told. It also explains why he never discussed his childhood or young adult years with my Dad. Some things are better left unsaid.
My Grandfather died when I was very young so I have no memory of him and very little of my Grandmother. I was around five or six when she passed away so my memories of her are faded, distant and dim but I always try to hang onto our trips into Harlem to visit her. This has imprinted on my mind. When I think back I can still see her apartment and envision the living room, kitchen one of the bedrooms and some of her furnishings. It’s very important to keep those Memory Portraits fresh in ones mind.
Again in 2010 when the last of the Greatest Generation my Aunt Helen Palmer Garcia made her passage to the other side I met more of these “hidden” cousins. Unfortunately even though at that time I exchanged information with them we have not stayed in touch and I moved in 2012 so it would be difficult for me to find them or them to find me.
As we gathered in Aunt Helen’s church for the repast someone took a photo of our Rainbow Family but like everything else on my hard drive it has decided to hide. When you see my relatives we truly are a mixed race mosaic of America.
Photos of me, Stephen, my father Edward Gordon Palmer and my Aunts as children. I don’t have any pictures of my Mom Mable Elizabeth Palmer as a child because her family was too poor to afford a camera or have photos taken of them. I have included a picture of my childhood dresser which I’ve had since I was five years old. It came as part of a Vanity set but only this piece survives.
Also shown is a photographer of my paternal Grandfather William Junius Palmer with some of his children taken around 1923 in Mt. Morris Park (now Marcus Garvey Park) in Harlem. My Dad Edward Palmer is not in this photo because he was born in Feb. 1930. The little boy seated on my Grandfather’s lap who would have been my Uncle died of polio. My grandparents lost at least two boys to this disease. My Dad was the only boy to survive and he was nicknamed Precious.
The photo of my Dad Edward G. Palmer was done in around 1935 by famous Harlem Renaissance photographer James Van Der Zee. http://www.biography.com/people/james-van-der-zee-9515411
Baby Me & Lamby Pie
Me and Stephen 1961
My Childhood Dresser I’ve had since age 5.
DeBorah had a Little Lamb
1961- A Very Good Year
Defiant precocious DeBorah
My Grandfather William J. Palmer with some of his children in Mt. Morris aka Marcus Garvey Park