"Better than you, since 1902"

I made a tee shirt quilt.
It was a commission, for which I charged a flat hourly rate.
I didn’t consider it art.
A grandmother was having it made for her granddaughter, a sorority girl.
All of the tee shirts were Greek — “good times” radiated from the fabric..
My own memories flooded back to me.
The year was 1966.
I was recruited to a sorority by a kind, studious girl from my hometown.
At first I was glad to belong.
But the next year a beautiful Black girl tested the waters and wanted to pledge.
The chapter was interested, at first.
But National intervened.
I protested to my president.
She said there was nothing she could do.
I must meet with a National Representative.
I made the appointment. I prepared myself.
I thought I could change things.
My arguments were sound.
Times were changing, the Black girl was perfect.
I was a member in good standing. Didn’t my opinion count?
No, it did not.
I said “I resign.”
She said, you can’t. You pledged for life.
I did?
You can become inactive.
I did so. But that was lame.
I felt dirty. Ashamed.
That sorority pin stayed in the bottom of my drawer for years.
Until I finally threw it out.

Detail of Tee Shirt Quilt.
Detail of Tee Shirt Quilt.

3 thoughts on “"Better than you, since 1902"”

  1. grammiejudi@aol.com

    Did you sign up with Judi Frankel for the art quilt Bee? Not sure how many have signed up or when or where we will meet e.t.c. Cheers Judi

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