Sunday, October 6, 2013

Back with a beauty or three

Funny how things just get away from you. Long story short, I moved, crowded myself with boxes, and then when I finally cleared out space for the computer, I discovered it died. Lovely, right? In the meantime, I plowed through quite a bit of sewing, learned more about my pleater, forgot things about my serger, and rediscovered fabric I'd forgotten. Btw, that's when you know it's time to stop, when you come across fabric you'd forgotten you'd had. Will that stop me?



So anyway, I find it quite interesting discovering all the history we seemed to have missed in school, particularly when it comes to people who aren't white Europeans. In my absence from the blogosphere, I was drawn into a conversation on a facebook group for fiction writers and to my dismay discovered just how little anyone knows or cares to know about the world of people of color outside of slavery and/or oppression. I expect it from the general population, we who were raised with textbooks that put the occasional Black, Hispanic, or Asian in a little box set away from the rest of history as little more than a footnote. But these were writers obsessed with history and yet they had taken the attitudes and social mores of Victorian England and were more than happy to apply them to all of history.

Well, let me be clear, while prejudice and racism have always been a part of our story as humanity, it has not always resulted in people of color merely being footnotes to history or on the outside of social acceptance or relegated to the role of servant, slave, or marginalized people. We of color have rich histories both inside and outside of Western European society and now that I'm back in blog business, I shall make it mine to spend more on that topic. I hadn't meant to but you see, I was perusing Pinterest for dessert recipes and came across a picture that reminded me of the Facebook conversation I referenced earlier.

May I present Queen Ranavalona III, the last person to reign the Kingdom of Madagascar. Now raise your hand if you knew they'd ever been a Kingdom of Madagascar. Don't be shy. I didn't know either. The kingdom was established in 1540 but as the French and the British had a rather nasty habit of fighting over things that didn't belong to them in the first place, the kingdom came to an end in 1897.

Her niece and heir, Marie-Louise as seen below, grew up and studied nursing, a career that earned her the Legion of Honor from the French government for her services during World War II.

Ranavalona III came to the throne after the death of her aunt, Queen Ranavalona II, pictured below.