It’s blurry and slightly discolored, but I’d recognize the two adults in this photograph anywhere. They’re my maternal grandparents (Lish and Leola [Goode] Askew) and this is the first time that I’m seeing them (and my dad, uncle, and aunts) so young.
It’s funny. When I was much, much younger and my grandmother was still alive, I never once thought of her having a life before me. I mean, I knew she married, had children (I have a dad, two aunts and one uncle as proof), and made awesome meals. Not once did I ever think to ask about what her life was like in her younger years. I am regretful.
I look at this picture and feel so happy. I have no idea what year this picture was taken, but I’m sure it’s during the Jim Crow era, since their four children were born between 1944 and 1950. Everyone looks like they’re dressed in their Sunday best and are SO opposite of the depictions of blacks in movies, advertising, and racist tchotchkes that were treated like collector’s items by whites. They’re beautiful, black, and proud.
A big thanks to my cousin, Belinda Hurley, for finding this picture and sharing it with me.