Ask Amy: Family wonders what to do with racist family photo

Columnist Amy Dickinson (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune)

DEAR AMY: I am in a quandary.

When my husband and his three brothers divided up what was left of my in-laws’ possessions after my father-in-law died, we received the majority of photos. I finally have time to go through and sort them.

Columnist Amy Dickinson (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune)

In the process, I came upon a very large photo that was taken in 1934 and it showed everyone from my mother-in-law’s Halloween office party.

Almost everyone in the photo is dressed in a costume, and that’s where my problem comes in.

There must be about 50 to 70 people in the very large photo, and four of them are in black face. Although I am appalled by this, I also feel that it is a piece of my husband’s family history.

Related Articles

Ask Amy: Partner’s sister insists on family exclusion

Ask Amy: I’m hiding $45,000 in debt from him

Ask Amy: They wouldn’t be where they are without us, and we never let them forget it

Ask Amy: He kissed me against my will, and I feel so alone

Ask Amy: I feel weird that he wants me to sign away my rights to this property

I have told my children about it and, while no one is OK with it, they are also torn because it is part of the past that is appalling, but their grandmother is in the photo.

I feel it’s something that needs to be addressed, because (to paraphrase a great quote), if we don’t learn from history, we’re bound to repeat it.

Photo Finished

DEAR FINISHED: I just finished reading an article by prominent African-American scholar and Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates (also the host of “Finding Your Roots,” on PBS) on whether artifacts such as this should be kept, or burned in a massive hellfire.

After outlining both sides of the argument, Gates comes down on the side of saving these heinous reminders of racism that Americans have both inflicted and endured, for the exact reason you cite: the need not to repeat history.

You should consider donating this

Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle

      

(Visited 6 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *