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71. Honoring African-American Artistic Heritage, Ancestral Wisdom, and the Divine Feminine with Quilt Muralist Cookie Washington
Episode 7110th December 2021 • The Good Dirt: Sustainable Living Explained • Lady Farmer
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Today we're talking to Cookie Washington, an African American quilting muralist and fourth generation needle worker, who addresses issues of race and social equality while celebrating the contributions of her African ancestral heritage and the  Divine Feminine in her work.  Cookie is the first in this long line of needle workers to take up art quilting, yet she feels her connection very deeply to her foremothers and her African-American history whenever a needle and bit of cloth is in her hands. Her passion for quilting is a way of communicating the African American woman’s experience. 

In our conversation, Cookie shares several  fascinating stories around her recent projects, You’ll hear about mermaids and goddesses, and how she was divinely inspired to do  a series of eight quilts depicting The Black Madonna as a way of bringing the healing energy of the Sacred Feminine into the world. She also shares the heartbreaking story of her friendship with Reverend Clementa Carlos Pinckney, a senior pastor at Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church  in Charleston who was murdered by a white supremacist terrorist in 2015, just days before they were to meet to plan an art exhibit in his church. 

Cookie also shares with us some ancestral wisdom that is communicated through the bees, and the upcoming Return of the Bees Multimedia Project, which is an exhibit that  celebrates the history, evolution, and futurism of southern Black agrarian material culture, including fiber arts and heritage quilt making. The show will be in Charleston, South Carolina at the City Gallery at Waterfront Park, opening January 17th and running through Black History Month.

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Original Music by John Kingsley @jkingsley1026

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Transcripts

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[00:00:25] Emma Kingsley: You're listening to The Good Dirt podcast. This is a place where we dig into the nitty gritty of sustainable living through food, fashion, and lifestyle.

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[00:00:47] Emma Kingsley: We started this podcast as a means to share the wealth of information and quality conversations that we're having in our world as we dream up and deliver ways for each of us to live into the new paradigm. One that is regenerative balanced and whole.

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[00:01:11] Emma Kingsley: So come cultivate a better world with us. We're so glad you're here now. Let's dig in.

Welcome Good Dirt listeners to another episode of the Good Dirt with Mary and Emma, and, uh, we're just sitting here reminiscing about our retreat that took place last weekend, our virtual slow living retreat, and I'm thinking it was pretty ideal. And I'm feeling really good about it. What about you mom?

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[00:01:59] Emma Kingsley: Yeah. You know, it happens every year. We're definitely, we get nervous in the lead up. Is it going to go okay? Are people are gonna like it? You know, all these feelings are so familiar now this is the fourth time having done it. Yeah. And you know how there's something about how the body, when something hurts your body doesn't remember pain. I feel like that's like the opposite with the retreat. Like I always forget how actually awesome it is at the outset.

Like at the end of the retreat I get this feeling like, oh yeah, this is what it's felt like after every single trade is like, just awesome. But in the lead up, it's hard to remember that it's going to be awesome.

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[00:03:13] Emma Kingsley: Yeah. We want to see all your fermented mustard. For sure. And your embroidery projects and your two years faces that you've been designing. So, mom, I really love the way that our Saturday morning coffee chat turned out with those events. We do leave a lot of space to plan them and see really like what's inspiring us closer to the weekend to see how the spirit strikes us.

I just really loved the program. I have to give you credit mom that you came up with to celebrate the Cailleach. We talked a little bit about her last week and a little bit about her on social in the past couple of weeks, but it really just turned into a beautiful discussion about this like feminine energy in particularly in winter and the duality of the winter and the spring.

I dunno. It was really interesting. It was a true conversation in the zoom room, which I feel like is kind of hard to do over zoom, but people were really excited about it. And I think we all learned something from each other.

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So we just really got into a really meaningful discussion. And what is so interesting as is so often happens on the podcast, the discussion today, and our episode, our conversation with Cookie Washington. We also talk a lot about the feminine energy. We speak about the sacred feminine, which the colleague is very reminiscent and expressive of the sacred feminine in folklore, and Cookie is going to tell us about her experience of that in her artwork. So I love the way that the weekend themes dovetailed into this week's podcast is really cool.

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If you have not heard of it is a multi-disciplinary cooperative non-profit ecosystem rooted in black eco cultural traditions and textile arts to regenerate custodial land ownership, ecological stewardship, and food and fiber economies in the south. So we really love this organization and everything that they're doing.

And all of the women involved that we've met that are involved with it are amazing people. And Tracy wanted us to specifically focus on the Return of the Bees multimedia project, which is a project within this Acres of Ancestry initiative for this weekend specifically. So we did chat a little bit about the Return of the Bees project at the retreat. And it's just so, as you said, it's so funny that this is the episode that's just like happening this week. Of course it is. So, yeah. Do you want to tell them a bit about the project, Mom?

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[00:06:55] Emma Kingsley: Cookie herself is a fourth generation needle worker and has been creating with textiles for more than five decades. Her current passion is fiber art muralism that celebrates the divine feminine and the contributions of her African ancestral heritage. For 16 years, she's been the guest curator of the African-American fiber arts exhibit that is part of the north Charleston cultural arts festival.

arack Obama's inauguration in:

[00:07:46] Mary Kingsley: This conversation with cookie was especially meaningful to me, especially in regards to my own exploration and writing on the topic of the sacred feminine. And as you will hear, Cookie shares with us, some very personal moments and experiences in her journey with her artwork in her quilting and her experience of the divine feminine in her artwork.

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[00:08:39] Mary Kingsley: Thank you so much, and here's Cookie.

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[00:09:13] Emma Kingsley: Can you tell us a little bit about some of the projects that you've done? I mean, maybe we'll get here too, but most recently in our last conversation you were telling me about a show you had recently put up.

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And every year for the past 16 years in may, I curate a show for the city of north Charleston, which is a separate city from Charleston. And every year, I pick a theme. And then African-American children from all over the country submit - this was a kind of a small year, but we had like 40 quilters and about 55 quilts or dolls.

And it was very successful. It was called Sankofa and Sankofa is Adinkra symbol that means go back and get it, or honor your ancestors. Learn from them while moving forward in a positive light.

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[00:10:29] Cookie Washington: So yeah, my Sankofa quilt actually was called my ancestors acres stolen seeking return. At one time, my grandparents had a lot of land, but through hook or by crook or unfair, I don't want to say dishonest, unfair practices by the United States government, they lost their land and was cheated out of their land and hill. When my grandfather died, he only had like three acres of land left. I loved my grandparents. It kind of broke my heart to watch that happen. And I remember from a little girl, my grandfather saying, there's a reason why it's called real estate. When I got married the first time I proudly showed my granddaddy my engagement ring. And he said, maybe what you really should have gotten was engagement real estate.

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[00:11:36] Cookie Washington: Thank you so much. That's a great question. Until I started quilting, I wasn't really knowledgeable about the divine feminine and I was raised a Baptist. I am such a Baptist girl. And so as a Baptist, we're like all about Jesus, and we never talked about the holy mother, the blessed Virgin, you know, 15 minutes at Christmas you talk about Mary gave birth to Jesus.

And then when I started quilting, I immediately knew that I wanted to do art quilting and that I wanted to do something that was meaningful that would either teach me or teach somebody else something. And that would raise the dialogue particularly African American women feel good about themselves.

And so I was sitting one day with my notebook. I'm a great believer in taking time and listening to whatever can come to you inside sitting there with a notebook. And something came to me that said, investigate the black Madonna.

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[00:12:29] Cookie Washington: I'd never heard of the black Madonna. And so you have to get on the computer. I was like, what is the black Madonna? And it's like, Oh, my goodness. And I suddenly find all this information. The very first images of the holy family were all black. But our lady of long name in Poland, our lady of Poland was John Paul the second's favorite Madonna, I guess, because it was created Poland. And she's beautifully black.

The holy child is black. I was like, wow, this is amazing. And from learning about her, I learned other things, but I was like, okay, God, I now have all this information. What am I supposed to do with it? And I literally heard verbally God say, make eight black Madonna.

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[00:13:16] Cookie Washington: And so I was like, oh, well, I'll make something else right now. Of course it failed miserably. And I went back to my notes and it said black Madonnas. I was like, okay, this is directly a message. So I'm going to pay attention because you're supposed to when you get a message to that strongly. So I made the first black Madonna. She was wild, and she had great hair. It made the three-dimensional hair, you know, crocheting some yard. So she had beautiful dreadlocks blowing in the wind. And then she was holding the baby Jesus at our breasts.

So that was the first one, and I felt really good about it. And I felt like, okay, I guess I'm going to do this. And that quilt I entered in a guild show for our local quilt guide which is predominantly Euro American. I didn't realize that there was even racism amongst quilters. I turned the quilt in like on a Wednesday, the show opened on a Saturday morning. So, I go to see my quilt and I'm like, oh, excited. There was a competition and several different categories.

And I couldn't find my quilt, and one of the women there who had never been terribly friendly with me said somebody messed with your quilt. And I said, where is it? And she said, oh, it's in the pointed me in the direction. It was hanging in front of the garbage room. And even though it was hanging in front of the garbage room, I still won a third place ribbon.

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[00:14:33] Cookie Washington: It, which was just amazing. And what it was was they'd hired an outside jurist to come in. This person, thankfully just judged it on the work and the design and whatever. And it was just the Guild members who objected to the black Madonna. And in the quilt, I made her address out of a beautiful, sheer silt that I had. But I exposed the right breast because that's where she's holding the baby Jesus in her arms.

You unfasten your dress, you know, the side of your dress and your breast is exposed. And that's how you feed your baby. Cause it's hard to feed it through a bra or something. And someone had taken a giant diaper pin and penned the silk back up on the shoulder of the Madonna.

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[00:15:14] Cookie Washington: Thus damaging this silk that was really expensive, beautiful handmade silk.

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[00:15:20] Cookie Washington: I was so livid. I thought I need to sue these people, but God was on my side or the goddess, the blessed Virgin was on my side. The very next weekend, there was a seminar called Mosaics of Mary. And it was about all the Marys in the Bible with an emphasis on mother Mary. They asked me if they could borrow the quilt just to hang it at the seminar.

And I said, oh, of course, you know, I'd be glad, you know, and had to like, make sure it didn't smell like garbage anymore. That seminar started on Thursday and it was over on Sunday because I loaned them my quilt. I was able to go to the whole seminar, really wonderful. I learned a lot more about the black Madonna.

A very famous spiritual person, Reverend Andrew Harvey was there to talk all about the black Madonna, how important she was. It was just a wonderful thing. At the very last part of the afternoon, one of the facilitators came and said is looking for you. And I didn't know who this person was. And this woman came up to me.

She said, are you Cookie Washington? She said, I have to have that quilt. And I said, okay. She said, is it for sale? And I said, well, yeah, I guess if it's going to go to a good home. She said, I have a good home. I have to have this. And I said, okay. And she said, how many is it? And I was going to say this one price in the hundreds of dollars. And I started to say a number. And she said, I won't pay more than blank thousand dollars for it. And I said sold. It was my first four figure sale.

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[00:16:41] Cookie Washington: And it was only like the fourth or fifth quilt that I had ever made. And it did. It went to a wonderful home in the North Carolina mountains and the woman was so thrilled. And so as I, so it kind of vindicated what had happened before. I remember just sitting and working on it, doing the beading, crocheting the hair, sewing the little individual dreadlocks on the baby jesus. I pray and meditate a lot when I'm quilting. It's becomes a very slow contemplative process. I think it's very good for everybody's mental health. I know very few stressed out quilters.

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I wrote a little prayer book that I published in 2004 called Prayers and Seven Contemplations of the Sacred Mother.

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[00:17:38] Mary Kingsley: Used the, the prayers of the rosary and adapted it to more of a prayers to the sacred feminine. It was sort of a re-imagining of Mary, the Virgin Mary.

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[00:17:54] Mary Kingsley: Yes, that's a huge question. And I think for us in our present culture, we are using our imagination to remember what once was that has been long buried. So, but we have to use our imaginations to get there. Do you see what I'm saying? Cause it's not in our experience. So it's like when you were open to that, those would you call it a vision that came to you where you had to do quilts? Was that a vision or a dream?

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[00:18:34] Mary Kingsley: Have you done all eight at this point?

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There is a song called Enteritos Negros. It's a Spanish song and it talks about why are there no black angels in art? And then the refrain is that if there are no black angels in art then it is up to you to create them. And so I had that image of our lady of Poland. And so I put her in the center of the quilt and then surrounded her by black angels of all different shades of blackness. Again, the holy mother and the holy baby were black. And that quilt took on really amazingly powerful, significance.

In:

So he allowed us to have an art show there. And I was working on that black Madonna mama there are no, yes, there are black angels and I showed it to him. He loved it. He was at the time getting his PhD in divinity from Allen university. And so we talked about that and he being an AME, like me being a Baptist, we did not have images of Mary in our culture. We were very much male centered religion. Jesus, the profits, the disciples, whatever. And he loved it.

e you back again. In April of:

And I said, okay. And I had finished the black Madonna by then. And he was just so enamored of it. And I said, Clem, I'd like to give this to you, but I know that as soon as this is over, it's got to go somewhere else, but it'll be back on this date. And he said, great. And so we're both very busy. And we got on our calendars and decided that June the 19th, we could get together.

I said, I'm going to bring you the quilt. I'll bring you the rods. He wanted to hang it in his office of the church. So we were going to meet at Saffron and he was like, I'm so excited. And in September, I'm going to have a whole service about the divine feminine. I'm learning so much in school, et cetera, et cetera. Reverend Pinckney never made our luncheon.

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[00:22:31] Cookie Washington: Because that Wednesday he was murdered along with eight other people by a white supremacist terrorist.

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[00:22:41] Mary Kingsley: Oh my Lord. Wow.

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[00:22:46] Emma Kingsley: Oh, don't apologize.

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This man is a Senator and a minister, and he's getting his phD. And he's also a father and a wonderful husband, and he found time several times to just stop by the hospital and bear witness and pray with us. He was just that kind of man. And to see his life cut down so horribly. It was unbearable. The next morning, about two o'clock in the morning is we didn't know, in a sense initially, who was dead and who wasn't dead. At about 2:30 in the morning, I found out that he and nine other people had been killed and they left three survivors.

Who will be traumatized for the rest of their life, because, you know, they had to lay there in the blood of their family members and friends for some time. But we at 5:30, a friend of mine called me. She was visiting in England and she said, Cookie, I'm hearing something really crazy on the BBC. And they keep saying Charleston, South Carolina.

But I keep thinking, they mean Charleston, West Virginia. And I said, what are you hearing? And she said that there was a church shooting. And I said, no, sadly it's true. It is, uh, Charleston, South Carolina. And she said, what church? And I had to tell her it was mother Emmanuel. And she had been one of the artists that showed in the fellowship hall.

And she said, what do we do? And I said, we're artists. We make art. We go into our studios and we make art and we will have a tribute show to honor Reverend Pinckney and the congregation that gave us a home for our art. We will give that back to them. And through our art, we will try to help heal the city. It took a year to find the right space and the right place. But we did a beautiful tribute show and I was able to publish a book of the art pieces.

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[00:25:39] Cookie Washington: I needed to put it on my website. Yeah, it was called Holy City: The Art of Love, Unity, and Resurrection.

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[00:25:45] Cookie Washington: We opened on may the 28th. There was going to be a whole month of remembrances of what happened. And I was able to invite the family members of the fallen and the survivors for a private showing beforehand. And it was so beautiful and so moving and probably one of the very best things I've ever done in my life.

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[00:26:09] Cookie Washington: And some of the artists had direct connection to members of mother Emmanuel. One of the artists her great-grandparents, grandparents, and parents had all been married in mother Emmanuel church. It was so healing for her to be able to participate in the show. One of the people who sent an art piece, she had been, I guess, second cousins with one of the people that were murdered, but she had also been first cousins on the other side of one of the four girls that were killed in the Birmingham bombing in the sixties.

And so she was just devastated. 50 years later, we're still experiencing the same kind of trauma as African-Americans. It was a very challenging, but I'm glad we did it. And I feel like Reverend Pinckney is looking down from heaven and being well-pleased that we get it. But I will miss him obviously for the rest of my life.

You know, so many people talk about the family members that immediately were able to forgive the shooter, the terrorist, and I'm still not there yet. Forgiveness is a process, and I'm not through that process. But I made a tribute quilt that has Mary embracing Jesus coming off the cross and mother Emanuel was in the foreground of the picture. I'm sorry. That was a really sad story.

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[00:27:44] Mary Kingsley: It's such a powerful coming together of so many things there. I'm so struck by the fact that Reverend Pinckney was so open and welcoming and even embracing of the whole concept of the sacred feminine, because in our culture, that's a very threatening idea to a lot of people, particularly people of the church.

Yes. And here he was being like, just at the truly cutting edge of kind of a spiritual revolution here. And he was taken away so tragically and it just, wow, it's really staggering.

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And I love that story. And so I've made a Sophia quilt as well. I needed to honor the Sophia's in my life, and I think that it's important, you know, and if you look at the word Sophia in the Latin, all of the osophies, philosophy, all those words come out of the Sophia wisdom tradition. And so I think as we learn and study, as I said, I think we are remembering.

And I think when we reintroduce the divine feminine and it is more accepted I think that we will be a more peaceful place. I think we need to have more balance, you know, we've been so in the patriarchy for a couple of thousand years, and that has not gone as well as anybody had hoped. And so maybe as we re embrace the divine feminine, we can get to a more peaceful, nurturing place. I can't imagine that any mother ever gave birth and said, oh, I hope you grow up to be a little terrorist or I hope you're getting killed in a war or something.

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[00:30:02] Cookie Washington: We want to nurture and love our children. And so I think if we ran the world or could co run the world in a more equal way, things might be better.

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[00:30:38] Cookie Washington: Sue Monk Kidd used to live in Charleston, and I was actually at the book launch for that one.

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[00:30:44] Cookie Washington: Really super nice lady. Very, very knowledgeable, very spiritual.

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And it's just an amazing topic. And art is a way to like penetrate the human psyche and certainly in your quilt making, we, you have done this, you have delved into this topic and its concept, which is huge for our culture and humanity and brought it forward. And as we have all experienced, you know, the divine feminine energy can speak to us in different ways. And it's very speaking very loudly now in the context of the climate crisis.

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[00:32:03] Mary Kingsley: Yes.

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So it is equally as important to make sure that the bees are not dying, but it's even more important to make sure that our children are not dying. Because I'm 60. I'm not going to be here in 40 years. So what can I do to make sure that my children and my grand daughters are in a place where they are safe and they have what they need so that they can look beyond their immediate needs, to the bigger needs of the planet.

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[00:33:25] Cookie Washington: Absolutely.

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[00:33:57] Emma Kingsley: Cookie, can you talk to us a little bit about either the mermaids, your work with mermaids or Califia the goddess.

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[00:34:06] Emma Kingsley: Yay.

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He said, you might be interested in this book and he get it in a very offhanded way. But I thought, oh, this is a very smart man and noticed little old unimportant me. And so I thought for sure, I was going to read the book, and I was a voracious reader. And it was a story of Calafia, which absolutely blew my mind.

wn that I can research was in:

One of them was in Spanish and what if it was in Portuguese. But it was such a well-known story to apparently all educated Spaniards that when Cortez 30 years later came looking for the city of gold, they thought it was Baja, California, which is where they thought that California was an island. And they thought that Calafia, a black Amazon goddess ruled the land, and that everything in her kingdom was of gold.

They lived with no men, but they had Griffins, which are the Eagle headed lions.

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[00:35:42] Cookie Washington: And if a man aimed to try to, you know, get on their island, the Griffins would get them and fly them up into the air and the dash to the rocks and rip them to shreds and eat them.

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[00:35:57] Cookie Washington: But it said in the book thatCalafia was black as night and was the most beautiful, more beautiful than the blonde haired one or the red headed one or whatever. But that is part of hiding the history of the Africa, african-Americans, even Hispanic history. I had that book when I was 15 and I've moved around a lot since then.

en I got my first computer in:

Yeah. Back then the internet was wild. I'll give you an example. I had a dog that I just loved and she had a tick which freaked me out and I thought I can handle this tick. So, I typed in something about pets to love or something like that thinking that I'm going to get like a veterinarian website that's going to show me how to remove a tick.

That was not what showed up. Oh my goodness. So I decided to take the dog to the vet, but it was a female vet and she helped me learn how to take ticks off my dog, but getting back to Calafia. So I typed that name into the search engine and I'm like, I'm excited. I'm going to find this information and the only hit that I got on the name, C A L I F I A was a trans porn star.

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[00:37:28] Cookie Washington: It was using a white trans porn star who was using the name, which was really aggravating to me. So a couple, three years later, when Yahoo got better, I was able to find like actual information, but there are only two very well-known images of Calafia. One of them is in the Mark Hopkins hotel on the top of nob hill in California, in San Francisco. There is a seven foot tall mural in the run of the dawns and it's the history of California and the very first panel of that incredibly beautiful painting is Calafia greeting the Spanish explorers.

It is a beautiful picture because they're kneeling before her. She's standing there with two of her warrior women and she's holding a Griffin like on a leash. The Spanish explorers are kneeling on the ground in front of her, which is just an amazing picture.

looking for it. But Disney in:

[00:39:08] Mary Kingsley: Oh my gosh.

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[00:39:36] Emma Kingsley: I love your depiction of her. We're looking at that quilt now.

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[00:39:53] Cookie Washington: Oh, Absolutely. And there is now an almond milk called Calafia. There's no depiction of queen Calafia.

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[00:40:09] Mary Kingsley: You were going to tell us about another. Mermaids.

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[00:40:16] Mary Kingsley: Oh my gosh.

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She flung her body onto the earth. She was pregnant and her womb exploded giving birth to all humankind of every race came forth from her body. It's a wonderful story. There are so many goddesses and Orishas that are depicted as black mermaids. I love that story. One of the reasons I think it's vitally important for us to know is black women are not coming up from slavery.

We are coming down from being worshiped as deities. And we need to remember we to absolutely remember and re inculcate that in our spirit, because if you just went to graduated from high school in America. If you went to school back east like I did part of the time, you know, the first black woman that showed up in my history books was Phillis Wheatley who was a poetist and a slave.

And then 75, 100 years later, you learn about Harriet Tubman, who was the conductor on the underground railroad, but also a slave. And then you touched on Sojourner Truth, but not a lot because she was a rebel rouser, but also a slave. And that's the context that you get. And then now we elevate performers. I love performers. Yay Beyonce. Yay Mary J Blige. I love these people, but Beyonce has a voice and I have a voice and only one of us is ever going to make money singing and dancing.

So let's talk about other black women and other accomplishments. I'm currently making a quilt. And I'm very excited about this, about a woman or someone who was assigned female at birth. I want to say that because I'm still not a hundred percent sure how to language this correctly, but there was a human born, a slave her name was at the time Cathay Williams. She was born into slavery in Missouri, right at the start of the civil war. The union army came through and took her away from the plantation that she was serving on.

And they had the right apparently to take enslaved people and press them into service for the union army. And they called them contraband, amazing story. She served with the union army unpaid for about five years for the whole of the civil war. And she became quite apparently such a good cook that she ended up cooking for General Custer, both George and his brother.

And when the war was over, she ended up dressing as a man and joined the union army. She was the first and only female Buffalo soldier.

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[00:43:40] Cookie Washington: Which is amazing because she disguised herself as a man. And apparently they did not give her a very thorough physical. But she was quite a tall woman on her list and papers it says, man, 5'9", Hale, Hardy, whatever. And so he served for almost two years, walking from Missouri, where he enlisted all the way to New Mexico and Colorado. And later in life ended up losing his toes. And for many years, people thought, oh, well it was because he was a diabetic. She was a diabetic, unhealthy whatever. But new research has shown that Buffalo soldiers who are also became the first park Rangers, which is very interesting.

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[00:44:23] Cookie Washington: They were protecting people who were going through the you know during the Indian wars, that was what they were called. And they were not allowed to start fires, to cook or to keep warm in the winters because the smoke would have let the native people know where they were and they of course would have come and killed them. And then there would have been no protection.

So she did that dressed as a man for two years and then got very sick with smallpox. And finally it was revealed that she had female genitalia and was honorably discharged from the army. We have her, her discharge as well as her enlistment papers.

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[00:45:02] Cookie Washington: And then were time she moved to Colorado again, disguising or dressing? I don't know. I want to say disguising, but presenting as a man and worked as a man. And then at some point converted back to dressing as a female, married very briefly a man, and he stole from her .And she bravely a free woman in Colorado had her husband arrested because he stole her team of horses and her money.

what they were called then in:

[00:46:02] Emma Kingsley: Wow.

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Because apparently everybody knew that when she first came to Colorado, she presented as William Cathay and then in the last article that was written about her, she was described as the nigger Kate who lived in such and such that even listed her address. So, this is really important to know that first of all, my granddaddy used to always say to me, honey, there is nothing new under the sun.

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[00:46:49] Cookie Washington: This is absolute, this is absolute proof that, yeah, there is nothing new under the sun.

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[00:46:58] Cookie Washington: I'm working on this quilt now. It'll be ready for the show that I am having with the acres of ancestors return of the bees in January in Charleston, South Carolina. So, I'm very excited about this.

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[00:47:24] Emma Kingsley: Well, thank you for making her quilt. I cannot wait.

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[00:47:27] Emma Kingsley: We're so excited to learn about them.

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So I'm trying trying very hard to be careful, but I'm so excited because we tend to think we're very narrow-minded and we don't know history. This whole trend thing just happened. a couple years ago.

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[00:48:05] Cookie Washington: Obviously not.

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[00:48:21] Cookie Washington: I will have it on my website.

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[00:48:23] Cookie Washington: Right now don't even have a good working title. Okay. Presenting the permanent collection of the acres of ancestry return of the bees. And will be in Charleston, South Carolina. It will be at the city gallery at waterfront park, which is the most beautiful place. And it will open January 17th and run through black history month, so the end of February, 2022. Oh, please come. It will be great.

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[00:48:52] Cookie Washington: There'll be people who will be teaching classes.

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[00:48:58] Cookie Washington: Oh, absolutely. Charleston is a great food town.

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[00:49:06] Mary Kingsley: So Cookie, what does the good dirt mean to you? And this can be literally or metaphorically or any way you want to answer it. We ask all our guests this question.

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The earth feeds us you know, not only... I'm in love with kale, all kinds of kale. So I get my kale from the good dirt, but it also grows the grass and the wheat that feeds the cows. And I'm not a vegetarian, so I will eat cows.

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[00:50:05] Cookie Washington: I would invite everybody to engage in some sort of slow stitching, do something for slowly that is meditative. Learn how to just take embroidery, take up quilting, take up bread making. Do something that slows your life down because I think then you will become more contemplative. And when we are in contemplation, that is when we can, as I say, remember who we are in a spiritual transformative sense. That that would be what I would love for people to be, to do. Go find some bees and talk to them. They're magical.

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[00:50:46] Cookie Washington: I honestly think we need to apologize to the bees.

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[00:50:50] Cookie Washington: Because they have been trying to tell us for many years now, y'all are in trouble and we're not paying attention to that. I think we need to, as we call our group return to the bees. Get into the hive mind. Bees help each other and they sustain us. I think that's very important.

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[00:51:19] Emma Kingsley: Yes. Thank you so much. It's such a joy to be speaking with you and to listen to your stories. And I just can't wait for the next time, cause I'm sure we'll be doing this again.

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[00:51:27] Cookie Washington: Oh, well, thank you so much. It was wonderful. I'm honored that y'all asked me. You have a wonderful day ladies.

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[00:51:37] Emma Kingsley: Thank you so much for tuning in today. Thank you so much Cookie for being with us. And like we mentioned in the interview, we can't wait to have you back. We hope that this conversation with Acres of Ancestry and the Return of the Bees project is an ongoing one. And yes. Thank you dear listeners for being here as well.

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[00:52:12] Emma Kingsley: Stay tuned. We'll be back next week.

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