oil on canvas, 1899.
I like this painting for nostalgic reasons. I remember holding a skein of yarn thus for my mother to wind.
In celebration of Black History Month, Tyhitia features a favourite and beautiful poem each week on her blog.
The first time I ever saw a "person of colour" I was about eight and at a county fair.
In an elegant perambulator, pushed through the crowd by proud parents, sat a milk chocolate child, dressed in strawberry pink ruffles and gravely absorbed in a matching cone of strawberry ice cream.
I though she was the most beautiful baby I had ever seen.
Of course, I tugged at my mother, who promptly reminded me it was not polite to stare and gawk and block people's passage, and dragged my resisting body out of the way.
She later explained my beautiful baby was a descendant of people who came north as Loyalists after the Revolution; and just like my kittens, people weren't all born the same colour.
My mother may well have had the usual prejudices and insular attitudes of her generation, but if so, she never imposed them on me.
And I think writers, in particular, should never have any use for stereotypes.