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ESSAYS

Styled in Scraps

 

A loose threaded pocket square

Weathered age silk sheets

A ripped seam from an old Sunday go to meeting dress

And a handful of small black buttons that have lost their sheen

 

All these items piled in a heap

Nestled on top of a wooden floor that creaks

Yet there is she, the one with the needle in her mouth and thread in her lap

\One that can give patches purpose, and fray threads flare

The one that can style you in scraps!

 

It’s the 1880s and the fashion is high

From tall neck frocks to long lace gloves

But for black women on Auburn Avenue

They found ways to design with scraps of love

 

For a teacher headed to a segregated school 

Need only to buy the marked down yellow stained high-neck top

Dye it black, and that old worn scrap looked like a brand new frock 

 

With a creative eye, but a small budget to buy 

Black women still wore scraps with design, even as the decades flew by

For in the 1920s, the clothes matched the music of the Age

Jazz was the latest craze, and jazzy was the cuts of the dresses they made

Nurses from WWI wore higher hems, they may not have been flappers but they finally found the freedom to show their ankles and a little more skin. 

In that day women went out with feathers in their hats, 

Yet for one styled in scraps, she wore her cap tilted on the side of her head,

For this would not reveal her feather’s small split and slight gap. 

Either way her stylish scraps received nods of approval and most gentleman couldn’t help but give her a second glance. 

Written by Ashley Kersey

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