BLACK HISTORY MONTH

History, right in your own home

 

nancrum@miamiherald.com

History doesn’t always look like a monument. It’s not always roped off or sealed under Plexiglass.

Sometimes, history is grandma’s hand-stitched quilt that keeps you warm at night; sometimes it’s framed on the living-room wall.

My history includes words of love, longing and resignation: “I am so afraid that you will not marry me, for your heart has already been won by another. However, I will never force you to do me any favor against your own will.”

Words that my grandfather Leonard wrote to Mary Simmons in 1905 in the months before they married — a union, as this one-sided conversation makes clear — about which she had reservations. He was in the Merchant Marine, the postmarks plot his movements from Jacksonville to Asbury Park in New Jersey. I’m not sure what sealed the deal, but, “You must never feel yourself without a lover and a friend as long as I am alive,” couldn’t have hurt.

Last month, the Smithsonian brought its traveling program, Save Our African-American Treasures, to Fort Lauderdale. Scores of people rifled through their credenza drawers, linen closets, bookshelves and china cabinets so that historians and conservators could fill in the blanks of the objects that had been passed down to them.

Today we feature pictures of a few of these treasures and, with a scan of the QR code, some of the stories they carry with them.

Sometimes, history is right at home.

Nancy Ancrum is Editorial Page Editor.

Read more Other Views stories from the Miami Herald

  • EARLY LEARNING

    The imperative is to educate our children

    When the two of us were graduated from high school, nobody seemed to be worrying about China or Brazil or India competing with us as an economy or in education. We took for granted that we were the best in the world in education and the economy and had no reason to believe that would ever change. Everyone seemed to be able to get a job — and to do so with not much more than the bare basics of education.

  • AUTISM

    Learning alongside my daughter, Bela

    My daughter, Bela, who has autism, doesn’t go anywhere without a pair of socks, which is odd because she never wears socks. Rather she carries them around as if they were dolls.

  • GABRIEL GARCÍA MÁRQUEZ

    His words dazzled the world

    Gabriel García Márquez has left us. His was also a death foretold, but no less shocking, because we resist saying farewell to our heroes. And García Márquez, the immense writer, was a superhero of literature.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category