These days, I'm documenting everything I can.
My late grandmother's collection of photos boasts somewhere in the thousands. Every time I go home, I find myself dragging boxes filled with delicate images - the black and white '50s still rich with Southern backdrops and relatives born closer to emancipation than we are to the Civil Rights Movement now, the slick '60s all bell bottoms and Chicago style wide eyes, the vibrant '70s with its poofs and first generation of northern grandbabies whose earliest memories include EL trains, skyscrapers and Polish sausages with German mustard.
...and then I run my hands over the obituaries - and consider the width and breadth of, in death, the stories and lineage that weren't as well documented in life. Those lines between fictive and blood kin are blurred (or non-existent depending on who's asked) and the people that helped comprise that migration of six million over sixty years are chronicled by name and a single dash, a sunrise to sunset...with a lil' Black livin' in between.
Two visits ago, I saw my grandma's yearbook. Next year, it will have been sixty years since the senior class of this Mississippi Delta town jutted out into the world. Sixty years since these young people from the Silent Generation crafted language for themselves in a country that decided they had nothing to say.
Rifle through and have a listen.