This project proved to be a meditation for me on unraveling and the power of remaking, a power that we ALL have - and a responsibility to use that power that has been long neglected by people like me. Metaphors and parables can help us think through difficult truths and change minds, and for me fabric is a powerful thing to think with.
Long ago, this top used to be a sweater. I bought it at a rummage sale and unraveled it. In 2010, I followed a pattern and made a halter top from its yarn. No matter how carefully and correctly I followed it, the top did NOT want to fit me. I even exclaimed at one point "I hate my body! Why wont this work??" Then for the next 10 years it stayed balled up in my closet, unworn. This summer of #stayhomesavelives
I finally felt motivated to get it out and try again. I had to unravel almost the entire thing (which was difficult because the very foundation of the pattern was wrong for me at the start) BUT with careful work, creativity, and abandoning the predetermined pattern, something much better came out of this disaster.
The very fabric of our society in the US is fundamentally wrong for most of the bodies who live here, especially Black bodies. Black people have been saying this for centuries, and they are saying it still. Black lives matter. But more often than not, those of us that this society was constructed to benefit, white people like me, have been indifferent or angry when this truth is pointed out, time and time again. And so instead, we have an ever-growing list of names - Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Sandra Bland, Trayvon Martin, and on and on - whose very lives and bodies bear the brunt of systems built to discriminate, control, and hurt.
So what can we do? I'm talking about unraveling this centuries-old project down to the very base, and that's not the work of a few weeks of hashtags or instagram stories.
This is long term work, and it's going to be hard, especially if you've never questioned why the social fabric that fits you causes so much violence and pain to Black Americans.
Thankfully, it's not all on you to unravel the entire web of inequalities and come up with a perfect new solution (continued in comment)