Only A Black Woman's Lifetime Investment
FINDERS KEEPERS ..... Black America
On Sunday morning, Yahoo shared what they considered a feel good story. A woman in Texas fell in love with a dilapidated dwelling and after purchase, she found over 100 vintage Black dolls in the attic. She smiled before the camera and stated, “these were not the Barbie’s I grew up playing with.” She is considering selling some to collectors.
When I read this story, it kicked me in the gut. Not so fast. Former resident, Phyllis Hunter died in 2018, the new owner found her letters among the dolls. Hunter had established the Black Like Me Doll Museum with over 600 Black Barbie and other dolls. SHE WAS KNOWN. You do not make this kind of sacrifice and investment to leave it in an attic, unless there was illness and inability to communicate with family and friends. Did they think she had gotten rid of all the dolls? What is the rest of this story? How much has rightful heirs been searched for? If $1 million were left in the attic, how much effort to locate inheritors would be required?
Hunter brought dolls, therefore she could have sold a few to renovate the home. Whom did she purchase from? Who knew her or visited the museum? With whom did she share what she wanted as a remembrance legacy?
America, land of opportunity, finders keepers but no history known about Black Americans. Like the mentality of early settlers discovering the land and “keeping” it, like the land confiscated from Blacks throughout history, “keepers,” took what belongs to Blacks. This is a feel good story about Keeper entitlement. It is an extension of Blacks asked to “share” with others despite not having what they are due by inheritance. But taking while Black says “it’s okay.”
This brings to mind another article in the news last week, Black neighborhoods in Kansas hard hit by property tax sales, reporting the stories of hard working Blacks losing their homes in the season of COVID. Who are the buyers on the courthouse steps? Black property taken in every decade, only some of the methods change.
If I moved to Pakistan and found something in my new home that clearly represented native people, I would not assume that it is all mine. I would not attempt to sell it back to the highest bidder, but would locate family in acknowledgement that it belongs more to them than myself.