Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Stepping Back In Time

Today is Day Seventeen of
Thirty Days of Photography II.

Today's photo topic:  TIME

When we moved to East Texas fifteen years ago, we stepped back in time.

Texas is huge. If Texas was a country, it would be the 40th largest country in the world. Different regions of the State of Texas are totally different in culture and traditions.  Moving to East Texas was like moving to the Deep South. 

We weren't ready for what we encountered. We stepped into a hotbed of racial division between white and black. We stepped back in time to an atmosphere reminiscent of the 50s or 60s. It was foreign to us. 

This is the hanging tree which is located in the historic section of our little town. The tree is not named for its hanging branches which reach the ground in places. No. This tree was used for hanging people...most often people of color. 

Being campus principals, we were perplexed at the tradition of taking class favorites photos under the limbs of this trees. I always wondered if the students who were descendants of African Americans felt the agony as they stepped under the hanging tree. Could they hear the sounds of the ropes twisting in the wind with the weight of the bodies hanging from them? We tried to put a stop to that photographic tradition. It lasted until we were gone.

I can hear you now asking why we stayed in such a place? We stayed because of the students who needed our help. That was always the qualifier to determine where we worked...are there students who really need us? Yes, there were students who desperately needed us. There were students who appreciated the changes we were attempting to make.

It still moves our hearts each time we go into town and those grateful students come up and shake our hands. That is what life is about. Making differences and making sure that ALL students have the opportunity to move ahead in time.

Want to see how time is interpreted by the other photo participants?
I imagine that most of them are counting down the time until this meme is over!
Check it our for yourself. Go here.

No comments: