Wednesday, August 1, 2012

I Just Never Knew The Difference...

I Just Never Knew The Difference...

By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/ aka Granny Gee

I loved her as a little girl.  When I fell she would pick me up, and wipe my tears, say everything is going to be alright.  I thought she was just 'Josephine'... my thoughts as that little girl were.. I love you, Josephine.

I would sit on the shiny hardwood floor with my toys, my nurse doll playing.  I would look up... in my young mind I saw how nice my home was where I lived.  All was sparkling clean, shiny.  I remember seeing Josephine working to keep our home nice.

Josephine would stand at the ironing board to iron our clothes.  My dresses were always beautifully starched, ironed.  These were the dresses my Grandmother Lola would buy for me from Peaches N Cream.  I got to buy my granddaughter one beautiful dress from Peaches N Cream when she was about five or six years old.

Josephine would work in the bright, shiny kitchen making meals for us, my mother and stepfather whom I knew as 'daddy', and my little brother, Wm Ernest.  I remember her letting me stand on the chair to make sausage patties... I think mine were very small sausage patties.

I would sit and listen to her talk to us, tell us stories.  My little brother and I heard her talk about 'the end of the world'... this made us afraid.  Josephine wasn't a scary person though, she was loved by all of us.

I never knew Josephine as a black lady as a little girl.  As a little girl I loved Josephine just like my mother... I didn't know 'color'.  I never heard mention of ... color... never.

Only when I was older and began to learn the difference between one skin tone color from the other... did I learn Josephine was a beautiful, black woman.

Today when I walked in Target, I saw a mixed family walking together.  There were some white children, some black children and........ some mixed children.  I noticed they were like I was as a little girl... they weren't seeing color.  They were seeing 'the real person' that stood there before them.  It instantly reminded me of someone I loved dearly as a little girl... Josephine.

As an adult, I tried to find Josephine.  She lived in a small town in North Carolina.... Franklinton, NC.  She lived behind the Sterling Cotton Mill.  She had a daughter named Maxine... I think her nickname when she was younger was 'Orange Blossom', or a similiar name.

I wanted to find Josephine to hug her, let her know how much she meant to me as a child.  She was part of my world where 'all was alright', from when as a child I had 'my own home'... she made my home nice.  Josephine was... love with a smile in my little girl mind.

I know by now, she may have passed away.  I feel sadness thinking that ... I wish I could have met her as an adult.  If anyone reads this and knows her daughter, Maxine... I hope they'll let me know.  I loved her, too.  She was a teenager then... she was good to me, also.  Another smile of

Do you ever 'out of the blue' think of things like this now, as an adult?  I do, today I thought of Josephine and Maxine.  I loved them very much.

I, also, thought about I never knew color then, we were a part of each other in my young life.  I never knew the difference... I just knew love, caring from these two special people.  They made an impression on my young mind... I just never knew the difference.


  1. What a touching memory Gloria. I agree that racism is one of mankind's ugliest sins. I am sure Josephine loved you just as much as you loved her.

    1. Thank-you, 'Unikorna'. I think she may have loved me, too. I like to think so... at that time, she meant the world to me. :))) Gloria