“The walls of the world are closing in. We need to get out of here in a hurry. We need to get out of these frames of minds and states of emotion that elevate mastery over compassion, division over connection, and greed over care, separating us one from another and locking us in. Our only options in this predicament, this state of political and planetary emergency, are to act as first responders or die not trying. We are the ancestors of our descendants. They are the generations we’ve made. With “radical hope” for their survival, what will we pack into their sacks?” - Tiya Miles, The Journey of Ashley’s Sack, a Black Family Member Keepsake
This book is the reason we need independent booksellers. Our book-buying day took on new meaning as we scanned the history shelves. One captured my attention through its determined title, All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley’s Sack, A Black Family Keepsake, by Tiya Miles.
As mothers today, we can feel this twinge of worry each time we send our children out into the world, but as I read these words from this brave, creative woman, I felt like I couldn’t breathe.
“… as the nine-year-old girl was separated from her mother and sold.”
I closed the book, and it became my only purchase. I followed the boys as they chose their books, while the story of Rose, an enslaved woman living in the 1850’s in South Carolina became a story I didn’t want to read, but knew I had to because it is a story that has already changed me forever.