It’s the gray area where stories lie in today

Nuances do not exist until individuals are both ready to acknowledge them, and contemporary information transitions into primary material.

There is a process for talking about complicated information, and that process takes time. In my first blog post that was not a video of me, I discussed the idea of time. I discussed the relative path that we, as conscious beings, attribute to our lives, although it is an abstract construct with no definitive relationship to reality.

Controversy and nuance live within that construct of time. They are topics, which are attributed to the “gray area,” an abstraction on the scale of two finite ends. They are concepts, topics, which coexist with society. Topics that resonate differently at different times due to mainstream awareness of the ideas and the acknowledgement and reactions that follow.

Slavery has existed since the determination of power, on a scale with the ends of dominance and subservience. Slavery, within the realm of the United States does not share that lengthy existence.  Slavery within the United States is only twice removed in relation to lineage.  There are still remnants of the experiences that took place. Time has allowed it, however, to be acknowledged and personified.  A desire to psychologically understand, and humanize the choices of slave owners destigmatize the controversy.

Time does not heal all wounds in this circumstance, but it has certainly distilled emotions and increased awareness of the ways contemporary slavery can be studied and questioned.

The same concept can be applied to other difficult stories, like the Holocaust.  They are complicated topics, where the choices and stories, although steeped in facts, are still raw with emotions.

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Time…

Time is a fascinating subject. A relative term that confines existence.  When looking through the stories from the collection, I was immediately drawn to the stark contrast of intricate timepieces on a simple dark background, with the title “A Moment Captured in Time.”

A Moment Captured in Time

The story that followed the click to appreciate the beauty and intricacy of the two watches turned immediately to a haunting reminder that time does not start or stop for any human.

The watches belonged to the NAACP’s field secretary for Florida in 1951, Harry Tyson Moore, and his wife, Harriette.  Although both watches symbolize a very important moment in both of their lives, the solemnity attached to Mr. Moore’s watch imposed a story that deserves to be shared.

Following the link to the story, the first sentence is, “On Christmas Day, 1951, the NAACP’s field secretary for Florida Harry Tyson Moore, and his wife, Harriette, were murdered” (NMAAHC, 2017).

Harry T Moore Pocket Watch“You would never have known, by looking at it, that it had survived a bomb blast” (Ibid).  A bomb blast that immediately killed Harry Moore and eventually killed Harriette Moore.  Time survived, Mr. and Mrs. Moore did not.

This pocket watch is not the only object left to tell to the story of Civil Rights activist Harry Moore, but it is one of the more personal and humanizing reminders of the day to day life Moore experienced.

Donated by his youngest daughter, Juanita Evangeline Moore, who survived the Christmas Day bomb blast, this object is part of the Moore Collection at NMAAHC, and is currently on display in the Defining Freedom, Defining Freedom: The Era of Segregation, 1876-1968.  The watch is both a physical and emotional connection to “a man who died half a century ago. It is a way to reach through time and experience this man’s courage and the violence perpetrated against him for that courage” (Ibid).

I have always been fascinated by the intricate mechanics that go into even the simplest and plainest looking watches, and even more so fascinated by the concept of time.  Watches are objects that humans plan and live their lives according to.  They are physical representations of the fleeting nature of life.  They embody an innate desire for structure and the ability to change. All in one object that could fit in your pocket.  For Harry Moore’s watch, the watch contains a never-ending story of courage that forcefully and brazenly ended too soon. Initially being drawn to the physical appearance, the object solidified its impact through the tragic story of its owner.

(2013, October 09). We Plants Are Happy Plants – Apollo. Retrieved March 14, 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_S9q-phYxmI

NMAAHC (2017, February 16). A Moment Captured in Time. Retrieved March 14, 2017, from https://nmaahc.si.edu/explore/stories/collection/moment-captured-time