Updated: Jan 1, 2021
...a liberating photographic series
photo taken at Darlington Produce. Darlington, La
“Slaves won their emancipation during the Civil War. Free blacks grew, ate, and sold watermelons. In doing so, the fruit became a symbol of their freedom.”- William R. BLack
RELEASING THE LIES
I have felt uncomfortable eating watermelon in front of individuals who don't look like me, because of the racist experiences I've had while eating it. Not because I was afraid of the comments, but afraid that I'd respond from the depth of that pain and be labeled "aggressive" "angry" or "sensitive", when truthfully I'm only verbally defending myself.
The protection I had over this particular fruit was mighty. I knew my grand father raised watermelon for years. I've planted them, picked them, and helped sell them from Darlington Produce (My grandparent's store). So I've muffled the connection I've had with the fruit, because of the nastiness that was fed to me via stereotypes and racist tropes.
I've been robbed of the knowledge of what the WATERMELON meant to my ancestors. Like they were robbed of their dignity and freedoms, by being mocked and looked down upon for simply trying to advance in society.
THANK YOU ANCESTORS FOR SIMPLY LIVING
Grandparents picking peas on their farm. J&L FARMS.