A Mother's Love... Paige Farren

Baby Suggs:

There are eight African American children in the picture above to represent Baby Suggs's eight children. The other photos show the raw emotions that a mother feels as her children are ripped away from her by white slave owners. No matter how hard Baby Suggs fights or how much she sacrifices...it is never enough. The last photo is a photo to represent Baby Suggs, she is a hard working woman who does nothing but survives. She stands strong as she continues in her daily life, even after all of the hardships she has sustained. This photo specifically signifies the day that Schoolteacher came; Baby Suggs is in the garden with her hat* on.

Baby Suggs is a woman who has gone through so much. She lost all 7/8 of her children to slavery; all but one, Halle. She is allowed to keep him and love him as much as she possibly can until he succumbs to the toxicities of slavery. She suffers from abandonment and feels the need to mother others (like Denver) until she feels like she fails that, too. Baby Suggs loses the will to live after Sethe killed her grandchild on her property, in her shed. She slowly withdraws herself from society and gives up on her life because she feels like she cannot take the hardships of life any longer, she was dealt too big of a hand.

The Clearing:

Baby Suggs uses The Clearing to cope with life and sufferings. She has withstood the loss of love and has the instinctual need to nurture those around her because slave owners took her children (and grandchildren) away from her. She is able to continuously open her heart to others throughout the community. She is someone people go to at any time when they are in need of love and acceptance. She listens and deals with everyone else's problems, silencing her own, as she reestablishes others beliefs and emotions.

Lady Jones:

This is an actual document from 1855 that was used in a murder case. Celia, a female slave, was accused of killing her Master one night as he approached her cabin. She was put on trial and later acquitted of the charges. Her rights, as well as the abuse and rape of all slaves, were brought into public question for one of the first times.

Lady Jones is a multiracial woman in the story. Her black mother was raped by a white slave owner and she is the result of the interaction. This situation took place throughout America during the time of slavery until it was almost considered a norm. Many slaves, like Harriet Jacobs, recall the events, “My master was, to my knowledge, the father of 11 slaves. But did the mothers dare to tell who was the father of their children? Did the other slaves dare to allude to it, except in whispers among themselves? No, indeed! They knew too well the terrible consequences” (Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs). Lady Jones hates herself because of her appearance and worth. She came into the world in a very different way than most people. She is different from society in appearance and is protested against and criticized because of it. However, there is nothing she can do about it other than find a black man to marry so that she betters the lives of her children. Lady Jones thinks very lowly of herself but, never the less, she still tries to look out for her children. She wants them to be open minded and forthcoming. She strives to teach them everything she knows so that they can be empowering and successful themselves and for future generations.

Lady Jones wants her children's lives to be better than her own.

Sethe:

The Milk

Keepers of the Black cattle

Hats are coming

I was running

Running on Four feet

Too much

No time for more running

White

They Took My Milk

~~~

I stopped them

I had to do it

I needed to save them

They took too much

Too thick

Too thin

It was a necessary sacrifice

Blood and bonds

At a home, but not at a Sweet Home

They Took My Milk

A mother and child form a bond through breastfeeding. It is a beneficial experience for both mother and child. Sethe was robbed of this relationship with her child when two young white boys hold her down and take her milk. This incident impacted Sethe greatly. She considers her milk as one of the most important things in her her life because it was something that she could always give to her children. Sethe's milk was something that connected her to her kids. When this possession was taken from her, though, she loses a large part of herself. Sethe is never able to move on from this event; it takes a psychological toll on her. This trauma is one of the reasons Sethe takes the initiative of killing her children; she thinks that she is saving them from cruelties, like this one, that she had to endure.

Sethe has the pain of losing her mother because of slavery, too. She knows what it feels like to not have a mother in her life. She has gone through so many hardships in her life (rape, whippings, and other abuse) and she wants to keep her children away from it. This makes her develop the need to protect her children.

Sethe thinks that the only way to protect and prevent her children from the atrocities of slavery is to kill them. This is her way of saving them. She loves them too much to knowingly let them live in a world of pain and terror.

Community:

This image represents the thirty women who come to save Sethe.

Thirty women from the community come to 124 because they know that one of their own, someone who has endured the sufferings of slavery, needs help. The black community comes to save Sethe.

The crowd is all female. They help Denver establish herself when she is ready to begin her life as a viable member of society. Denver finds a job, food is left for her family and Denver is welcomed in the community again because of them. The women understand some of the hurt that Sethe is going through because of slavery, too. This diverse community has many distinct women in it, each with very different stories, uniting together. They are the "fallbacks," or the cushions that help those within their world bounce back up. The women save Mr. Bodwin from Sethe and they help fix her life. They are ex-slaves who band together against Beloved and against the rest of the harsh world. They take a stand against slavery, surviving it together, not backing down. The potential mothers, mothers, and grandmothers make everything in their group run efficiently. They accept everyone around them and they protect each other because they all know what it is like to suffer and they know that it is harder to suffer alone. The women are the community.

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