[I am following Anne Brooke‘s 2021 #52tagshannemade slow stitch challenge to make a little tag every week of the year – see them all here!] Week 17’s theme was to use couching stitches to secure little rolls of fabric in a color that seemed missing from our set so far. I just posted a group shot last time, and you might see what I noticed: I needed more green.
I kept it quite basic, using just three different perle cottons to couch down my teeny fabric rolls. This one works up in a hoop – I don’t think I could have possibly tried it without one!
My major thoughts for this tag was that I teach a physical anthropology introductory course and this week we covered what “race” is and is not. It use to stress me out a lot, to challenge the ideas of our general public definition, since I am white and often have people of color as students. Would I leave the wrong impression about how anthropologists discuss race? Would I alienate anyone? Do my senior citizen students get what I am saying, having lived through much different eras? But I understand what it’s about, and I found I do a great job deconstructing the problems with the term “race” and offering a better understanding of human physical variation. Phew. (There is a different conversation in my cultural anthropology course, though they tie together; it instead focuses on the lived experiences.) Because my lectures were coinciding with Chauvin’s murder trial, I did feel a bit more tense than usual, though. I felt it was utterly appropriate to have the discussions – what timing! – but I also needed to be sure I was considerate of the heightened emotions my students might be feeling in that context. And I celebrated that the jurors found sufficient evidence to charge Chauvin. A small justice, but hopefully one that will get us to some better place with police reform and education.
I can’t say that the stitching or choices really reflected my thoughts this week. I could make it up after the fact, though: It’s all green, yet each roll is different. And all the rolls are tied together, forming the greater whole. That’s not unlike “race” – we’re all the same pretty much genetically (truly 99.9% genetically the same), yet our diversity seems vast as each individual is different. And we are all in society together, of course. If only more people looked at that as a beautiful thing instead of otherwise.