Black Women Writers @ Southwestern University

An English / Feminist Studies / Race & Ethnicity Studies Course Blog



I really identified with the line in Silver Sparrow “Her hands were made for making sandwiches.” I didn’t initially think much about it when I read it, but when it resurfaced in our discussion on Monday, it made me think of my grandmother. About 6 years ago, she turned 90 and her whole family (Which consists of 7 children and 15 grandchildren, not to mention extended family, family friends, and a veritable mob of friends) had a party. For the party, pamphlets were printed that retold some of our favorite family lore about her, as well as her impact upon our family, esp. the women. The picture that was printed on the front of the pamphlet was later copied and all of her offspring and offspring’s offspring received a framed photo of her for Christmas. The reason I bring this up is because when my aunt was taking the photo that was to be her party portrait, my grandmother instructed her- as was very much her style- that she wanted her hands in the portrait. The reason, she said, was “because my hands made me.”

I was struck by the way something so humble and unassuming as a pair of hands could be given credit as being the foundation for a person’s world (although in the case of Charsh, I feel ’empire’ is a better noun). She was right to give them credit, but you just don’t hear it very often. Especially since my grandmother was definitely the matriarch of our family, giving credit to something so humble for giving her the power that she had gave me hope that I might one day be able to be just as assertive as her one day.

And I said that she was the matriarch of the family, and she definitely was, but that doesn’t mean that she emasculated her husbands. I do not know what her relationship with her first husband was like, but if her relationship with my grandfather is anything to go off of, it was a healthy, ‘collaborative’ relationship (as we said in class today) and her possession of power did not remove or take away from him. The best way I’ve heard it put was from someone featured on Humans of New York who was actually talking about envy and success, but their message works just as well if you use power; he said something to the effect of “there isn’t an absolute and finite amount of success. Someone gaining success did not mean that I lost any success that I had already achieved.”


6 thoughts on “Hands

  1. Judging by your post, I think you will enjoy this youtube video! I saved this video a LONG time ago when this ad first came out because I was so fascinated by it because FINALLY someone understood the importance of your hands.
    This I have to admit is one of my favorite things about people, is there hands. Some people say that looking into people eyes is a way into their soul, (referencing to The Color Purple) which I can agree with, and is another faboluous feature that people have that completely fascinates me, but it is all about the hands. Hands tell stories. Some people have scars, bruises, and bumps on their hands that can tell so many stories. Pretty hands versus rough hands. Why the rough hands? Because of the persons rough past that maybe had to do with how much they had to work? Pretty hands? Why, because they have not gotten into trouble? Small hands? Big hands? Was that from their mother/father? Now veins are the prettiest, they show age, and in my opinion strength and wisdom.
    There is so much you can tell from a person from their hands. Especially grandmothers. I do not know about you, but from your post I can tell that you probably have a good relationship with your grandmother, and so do I. My grandmother is my best friend. I love looking at her hands because they show all of what I listed above. She has arthritis and thinks her hands are so ugly, but I always remind her it is from all the hard work and dedication she put into making a family and a living.
    So, THANK YOU for letting me be weird with my fascination with hands! 🙂

  2. IM SORRY it isn’t posting the right video!!!! 😦

  3. Fixed it!! Sorry yall. 😦 but there is my team from last year doing a cheer if you’re interested…. Haha

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