Joan Nestle, the Bronx, 1943

by tobybee

This image is from Joan Nestle’s blog, ‘Don’t You Ever Stop Talking.’ (if you don’t know of Joan, you should: she’s a New Yorker, the founder of the Lesbian Herstory Archives (they used to be housed in her apartment in New York), a writer of lesbian erotica, Jewish lesbian feminist diaspora activist with Women in Black and Palestinian solidarity movements, and, generally, all kinds of beautiful, supportive and amazing)

I really love this image. It speaks to me of a particular strength of New York Jewish women. Nestle writes:

It is my mother’s gloved hand, resting on my shoulder, that moves back through the years, the primal touch, on my three-year old shoulder, the weight of it, the sense of responsibility, the journey ahead that would eat into the vestiges of respectability. All I see on my screen now are the legs, the shoes, stockings, socks of the three Nestles, the scruffy shoes of my brother with is stripped socks, my mother’s work shoes, too tight, but fashionable in a Bronx way, with the flower flourish and the toes peeping out, and then my white solid little girl shoes tightly laced, my legs that ache so much now. The strength made frail by the human journey into time, my one little moment of it, I the only remaining voice for now, who remembers the streets beneath these souls.

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