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Stitches! It’s February the month of love and most importantly the celebration of African-American history, stories, culture, and more. And as an African-American myself I feel a great pressure to represent and show Black excellence in a space where the light doesn’t always shine on creators with skin like mine (That totally rhymed hee-hee). So I have whipped up a design to showcase a bit of my culture and to represent some of what is happening in the world today.

Code Switch: A cropped crochet sweater was inspired by a phone conversation my mother was having with one of her clients. The aforementioned client was very careful in the way she was speaking with my mother until she identified that my mother was also an African-American. Before that moment she used “proper English” and changed the pitch of her voice to be somewhat higher; after her revelation she began to ease into her true self and speak with more familiarity and ebonics.

On one hand it bothered me that she felt that the caller had to hide herself and on the other hand I was warmed by the connection that was formed between both women as they recognized a shared cultural trait and defense mechanism as they both began to discuss why they choose and sometimes have to change what is natural for them to help others around them feel “safer” or for them to assimilate into what is the standard quo.

The whole experience triggered me to think about the current situation with black people in America; a situation that, honestly, isn’t new. But seems to be making progress slowly, but surely. As, sadly, violence triggers discussions and the learning between races.