Something old and something new

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 4, 2015

When I buy something new to wear, I try to get rid of something old that is hanging in my closet. It is one of those practices which helps me keep order in a limited space. However, there have been certain pieces of clothing that I have found hard to let go because of a memory it holds for me.

There was one cocktail dress I kept in my bedroom closet way too long, but I just could not let go of it. I had worn the frock out on my first date following my divorce. I know some of you may think that sounds ridiculous, but for me it represented a new beginning in my life that I had perceived was over.

For those that have lost a spouse from divorce or death, you know what I am talking about, and it is huge.

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I was thinking about that dress this week with all the controversy over the confederate flag.

As a southern, white woman, I understand why some people are having a hard time letting go of the flag. I have always perceived the flag as a representation of my history and heritage, and in some ways like that party dress, it represented a strength and fortitude for the south.

However, the other day I was having a conversation during dinner with a black friend of mine, and I asked him what his feelings were in reference to the confederate flag.

His reply was cordial, heartfelt and noncontroversial. For him, he said the flag is no different from the swastika used by the Third Reich in Nazi Germany, and even though some white people may see it as a part of their heritage, it is not reflective of his.

Wow! A knock me down and prop me up moment. I had never viewed the confederate flag as an emblem to promote racism, but when he referenced it to “heritage,” the noun I liked to use to dismantle the idea of xenophobia, well, it was a punch in the reality gut.

I have studied history, and I know that slavery was part of the culture of the south, but naively I have just wanted to close my eyes to the atrocities that occurred and only recall a time of tea parties, hoop skirts and beautiful antebellum homes.

Yes, and well, frankly I was not giving a damn about how the black culture viewed those times.

I eventually removed that pretty, party dress from my closet. Not only did it not fit any more, it was time to make room for something new.

Today is the Fourth of July, a holiday typically spent with family and friends to celebrate the birth of our country’s independence, and as many of us gather around a table of barbequed meat and baked beans, the flag, red, white and blue, stars and stripes, represents us all.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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