It Came From My Cupboard: The Return of Colored Corn Girl

by Robrt L. Pela

She rested on the kitchen windowsill of my childhood home all through the Sixties, dressed in a little ceramic dress, standing next to a giant ear of corn. In the parlance of the day, she was what was called “Colored.” And then one day, when I wasn’t looking, she disappeared.

It could be that she fell and broke, and Mom dumped her broken bits into the trash compactor. Or maybe Mom decided it was inappropriate, in that age of the Human Rights Movement, to own a depiction of an Afro American (as they then liked to be called) that might somehow be offensive to a Black person, and she put little Corn Girl into a garage sale.

I don’t know where she went to. All I know is one day she was gone. I searched for her for years and years in antique shops, but she never turned up. Then, about a decade ago, a new online auction called eBay got going, and within days Corn Girl was mine again.

This one’s eyes aren’t the same, though. They’re painted on really big, so that she looks startled, and they’re crooked, which makes her look a little sad.

I keep swizzle sticks in her ear of corn.

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