• Vernalee

A COTTON PICKING GOOD TIME

By Vernalee

On one of our historic girl trips to Glen Allan, Mississippi, my daughter and nieces decided that they wanted to pick cotton. As we traveled Highway # One in the Delta, row after row of that snow white glistening cotton lined the road. As I took their photograph with them modeling varied striking poses, so many reflections about picking cotton came to mind. One of my Mother’s famous stories was how she picked over 300 pounds of cotton each day to pay for my oldest sister’s (Barbara’s) senior class ring. …. Things that we Mothers do for our children never cease to amaze me! In those days, picking cotton for 10-12 hours making $10.00 a day, if that, was a way of life for many Black folks. Can you Imagine that salary in exchange for a physically draining day? Yet, so many relied on the drudgery of the cotton fields to “feed their families” and to survive. So, when we complain that our padded high back desk chair is not comfortable enough, think about the toils of how our hard working ancestors worked/supported their families, and how they made everyone rich, but themselves! I become mentally exhausted …sometimes… just thinking about it! Amidst all the unrest occurring today, suddenly a radiant light shone inside my soul. I realized that there’s a message here. History! Let us never forget our ancestor’s sweaty backs, the knotty hard callouses that covered their hands, and the horrific shoulder/back pain they experienced pulling 100 pounds of cotton in a burlap sack from one end of the field to the other. Their historical cotton field days of laborious agonies were not an enjoyable memory like the photo.

3 comments

Recent Posts

See All