Thursday, December 13, 2012

Before I get into my report on the New Orleans trip (and wait'll you hear!), I do want to share this image of a new item in our gift shop at the Visitors Center ... .

For months I've been lobbying to get products that reflect the diversity of the home front work place.  Finally, after a steady dose of nagging, cajoling, being insistent, she arrived on our shelves -- this brilliantly designed image of an African American "Rosie," -- on both red and black tee shirts.  They're stunning!

The design is by graphic artist, Rich Black, who is a Berkeleyan who does the art work for the Ashby Stage, otherwise known as the Shotgun Players.  Rich graciously agreed to donate his services and artistry to the cause, and "Richmond Rosie" is the result. 

My complaint was based on the fact that I've never been able to identify with what has become the "We can do it" Rosie we've come to accept as the symbol of the women who answered their country's call to replace the men called to the battlefronts.  She was ubiquitous, but she was not representing the women whom I knew.  There seemed to be little recognition of the fact that the universal use of that design seemed to suggest that "white" folks were the generic folks, and the rest of us were "somethin' else," or in more formal words, "exotic."  No one seemed to understand my resistance to accepting this as "my" symbol.

C'mon, guys.  You gotta see that we've extended the diversity issue and made the gift shop more relevant to a broader community by adding some spice to the mix!