Cover Photo: Elizabeth Hawkes (Jessica DeGouw)
Elizabeth Hawkes (Jessica DeGouw)

Open Wounds. Bleed.

Episode 202

by Kelisha Graves

 March 16, 2017 | Recap: Episode 2.02

an armed sewing circle    

"I didn't mean to hurt you. You know that, right?" --Hicks

The relationship between Ernestine and Hicks is dangerous. “I didn’t mean to hurt you. You know that right?” His apologies sound barely sincere because they are attached to a request to induce an abortion on a young woman (Clara) he’s impregnated –“There’s a girl that’s gonna need your help. You gonna help her for me?” The same fists that leave behind bloody lips and bruised cheeks relax into the fingers that wash Ernestine’s feet and cuddle her into forgiveness. Whether Hicks is tender or rough, in this numbed state Ernestine will agree to almost anything. When Hicks drags Clara kicking and screaming into the tent and demands for Ernestine to give him the abortive, Ernestine follows directions like a bullied little girl and remains emotionally detached. Even so, in those moments when Hicks is "tender" we know immediately that we’ve seen this behavior before…the sexual manipulation, the lusty apologies, but without the stripes on Ernestine’s back and against a more prestigious backdrop. I am referring to Tom Macon.

French (played by Jordane Christie)

The reality is this: the one love of her life is dead.  So, Ernestine learns how to cope (always) at the cost of her womanliness. As an enslaved woman,  there are no discounts to anticipate, she pays in full even if the price requires both her dignity and integrity.

In episode 2 we are greeted by one of the Gullah-Geechee community’s grandest offerings: an overwhelming tree from which dangle dozens of cobalt blue (called “haint” blue) bottles sashaying in gorgeous glory to the harmony of the coastal breeze. It’s the brilliance of nature adorned by the paraphernalia of African creativity.

Kelisha Graves is a scholar of Africana Studies, her work focuses on African American intellectual history, African American philosophy and the philosophy of education. She  also writes on black film. You can follow her on Twitter at @KelishaGraves