• TýsDay Publishing

Purple Dress

Updated: Jun 22, 2018

It has been said that fairy tales do not teach children that dragons exist. Children already know that. Fairy tales teach children that the dragons ... can be defeated.

When I was a little girl, I saw a couple of dragon-slayers. Saw 'em with my own eyes. The time was nighttime, the season was summer, the year was 1963. My brother and I had just walked out of the old public library in Gadsden, Alabama, USA, to wait for our mother to drive by and pick us up. When--out of the night--on the sidewalk there across Main Street, a lot of people came walking our way. Eastbound, toward the Coosa River. Eastbound, toward the statue of Emma Sampson, the local Confederate heroine. Eastbound toward the place where the sun would someday rise and scatter the brutal night. They were ... colored people. My big brother and I watched in silence. I knew what it was – it was news. Just like in those big, important far-away places, ya know: Birmingham… Montgomery… Selma. Then I saw them. Two little girls came by, dressed in their Sunday finest. I believe one of the dresses was red. But the other one, the one I remember to this day, was PURPLE. Before that moment, I don't know that I had ever seen a dress so pretty and bright. I understood that what those little girls were doing in their big girl dresses was very, very grown-UP. And I knew that they knew – hey, I was just a little white girl and I knew – they had to have known that what they were doing was dangerous. And there they were, going out into the night in their pretty little dresses to face the dogs and the fire hoses and the cattle prods. And there they went, holding hands and singing. They were holding hands and singing.

Dreaming... the second-hand store

found: a purple dress

found: some courage for today

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