Heirlooms Assure Our Blackness Can NEVER EVER Be Erased

“Black people love their children with a kind of obsession. You are all we have.” - Ta-Nehisi Coates. You might look at this item and question it’s value, but to this mother it was everything. Why?

Heirlooms Assure Our Blackness Can NEVER EVER Be Erased
Via Wikimedia Commons

Heirlooms are powerful items full of ancestral energy. During slavery, enslaved Africans possessed little, but what they did own they cherished.

To give an heirloom to someone showed deep love. A powerful example of this is “Ashley’s Sack.”

Around 1852, Ashley was sold away from her mother, Rose. Prior to their separation, Rose packed Ashely an “emergency kit.

Over time Ashley ‘s kit became an heirloom. Her granddaughter, Ruth, embroidered the sack the kit came in:

“ ‘My great grandmother Rose/ mother of Ashley gave her this sack when/ she was sold at age 9 in South Carolina/ it held a tattered dress 3 handfulls of/ pecans a braid of Roses hair. Told her/ It be filled with my Love always/ She never saw her again/ Ashley is my grandmother’—Ruth Middleton/ 1921.”

Slavery separated families and erased proof they ever existed. The sack, like other heirlooms, is evidence of survival!

Ashley’s Sack is currently displayed in the International African American Museum.

If you don’t have heirlooms, you can choose items you’d like to pass down - items should be reflective of your journey, lineage, or spiritual energy. What parts of your life can you share with those you love?

We have a quick favor to ask...

We hope you're enjoying PushBlack Spirit! Spreading the truth about Black spiritual practices and history is just as important to you as it is to us.

And as a small non-profit, we need your support to keep spreading these important stories.

With as little as $5 a month, you will support our tech and writing costs, so we can reach even more people like you. It only takes a minue, so will you please donate now?