Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Mme. Willi Posey napping on the deck of the S.S. Liberte

Picture probably taken by Michele Wallace, 1961.

It is 1961. My grandmother (pictured here), my sister Barbara, my Mom Faith and I are on our way to France. Mme. Willi Posey, my grandmother, Momma Jones as I then called her, is napping in the comfortable sunlight on the deck of the S.S. Liberte on its last transatlantic voyage.
I just love love this picture. She is wearing her favorite sweater, her head tied up in her favorite sleeping scarf, totally relaxed, totally herself. Yet ready, at a moment's notice, to be of service. Or so I imagined. I loved the perfectly round shape of her head, her eyes, her nose, all perfection. She was 58 years old that summer.

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About Me

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I am a writer and a professor of English at the City College of New York, and the CUNY Graduate Center. My books include Black Macho and the Myth of the Superwoman (1979), Invisibility Blues (1990), Black Popular Culture (1992), and Dark Designs and Visual Culture (2005). I write cultural criticism frequently and am currently working on a project on creativity and feminism among the women in my family, some of which is posted on the Soul Pictures blog.