On June 17 last summer, the Jackson family of Charleston lost three of its members: Susie Jackson, her cousin Ethel Lance, and Susie’s nephew, Tywanza Sanders. Because Tywanza Sanders tried to shield his aunt from the shooter and then reached out to comfort her as they both lay dying, I stitched their names on the same heart. Their funeral services were held together.
Susie Jackson, the oldest person slain last summer, was a trustee of the Emanuel AME and a former member of the choir. In this article from “The Post and Courier”, she was remembered as “a family and church matriarch.” According to the same article, Ms. Jackson “volunteered in myriad ways over her many years of constant faith and fidelity.”
Because of her love of music, I couched some black satin cording in a G clef for the back of the block.
At their joint service, a rousing performance of “I Can’t Give Up Now” was sung. Here’s a link to Lee Williams singing a version of same.
I learned from a “Post and Courier” article that two caissons carried the caskets of Susie Jackson and Tywanza Sanders from the church.
Before he was shot, Tywanza stood between the shooter and his Aunt Susie and said, “You don’t have to do this.”
He was said to possess a brightness of spirit and such brightness is very visible on his instragram feed. “The Post and Courier” quoted a friend as saying of him that he had a “majestic and contagious smile few people have”.
From the next quote, you can see why the article about him was headlined: Poet, Hero, Tywanza Sanders.
“He was remembered for his artistry. A poem of his was read that spoke of social conscience and ended, “divided by color/So we are all trying to be equal.” It was titled “Tragedy.”
Mourners kept coming back to Sanders’ last moments. The family’s remembrance of him in the program said his last words were, “Where is my Aunt Susie. I’ve got to get to my Aunt Susie” as he reached for her.”
Tywanza was also entrepreneurial and hoped to establish a barber business. He already had his license and undergraduate business degree. I am about to stitch the barber pole with the signature red, white and blue stripes.
Liz Ackert contributed some unbelievably beautiful labels recently and I will post about them this week.
On a completely pedestrian note, it continues to be unseasonably cold here. I keep thinking I can put my down-filled coats away and then finding myself wearing them. Today I added a wool scarf for my neck!
To read more about this project,
please refer to the the sidebar category:
“Hearts for Charleston Quilt”
To investigate this style of quilting more,
please visit the inspiring and generous master quilter, Jude Hill
at her blog “Spirit Cloth“
I am sad and sickened by this awful tragedy, but also I have been given hope by all who have contributed to the making of these beautiful blocks…thank you, Dee, for showing the way.
Hi Jenny. One of the real benefits to me personally about constructing this quilt of honoring and remembering, is to spend time long, long after the story left the news, honoring and remembering. The one year anniversary is around the corner. I’m certain it will be difficult for the community.