Emily Henderson

To A Great Man ...

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day


As much as I like talking about eye shadow and credenzas we can’t exactly let this day go past without an acknowledgment and remembrance of this great, great, great man. I had a whole political post written and then I was like – just keep it short and to the point, because its all quite simple, isn’t it?

Black Lives Matter. I think we can all agree on that. I’m hopeful for the future despite the bummer of a year it was in many ways, racially. This man, this man was amazing and so full of love and I will be teaching his teachings to our kids, year round. As he once said “I have decided to stick with Love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day. xx


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  1. Thank you for this post, Emily. I am a daily reader (and fellow Oregonian) who loves to see a room made over as much as the next guy, but today is different and I love that you made a point of it. Keep being weird and wonderful.

  2. I am a 44 yr old black woman’s from Newark, NJ who has been a big fan of yours since Design Star. As of today, I’m a huge fan. Thank for acknowledging my 5 yr old son’s life matters. You rock!

    1. Of course all lives matter. But the fact is, we in this country do not act as if all lives matter. The statistics and studies have shown that people of color are far more likely to be punished for crimes than white people are (the same exact crimes). They are more likely to be shot than white people by police (not to knock our wonderful police forces, but that is a fact). The state of MS is currently being investigated for the schools to prison pipeline scandal (children of color are being sent to juvenile detention for “crimes” as simple as throwing a paper airplane in class–children in late elementary and junior high). I am as white as they come, but the more I read these studies and facts (not opinions, but facts done by independent researchers), the more I realize that racism is alive and well in this country. I’m just sorry it took so long to convince me (I’m 38). Let’s all work towards the day when all are treated equally, and the Black Lives Matter movement becomes unnecessary.

      1. I think that SB gets some of it but at the same time doesn’t get some it. There are many people who believe that honoring or affirming difference means a negation of something else. There is a belief, that by not talking about difference then the tension around that difference would just go away. I think that some people who say AllLivesMatter are avoidant types, those who think that naming a problem becomes the problem instead of those of us who believe that naming the problem is the start to solving the problem.

        To use a design metaphor, which might help SB, of course every piece of furniture in the living room matters. The sofa, chairs, pillows, lamps, rugs, and art on the walls.

        But when the broken chair that no ones wants to sit on (for reasons partially unknown), there comes a time when “ThatChairMatters.” That chair needs some tender loving care. That chair needs attention, perhaps a new fabric, or new legs, or to be placed in a different spot. It does no good to tell the interior designer that “AllFurnitureMatters,” when clearly “ThatChair” which is part of the furniture needs attention, care, or remodeling, or something else.

        We can design a new world, a new living space when we focus on the room and the furniture, individually and collectively.

  3. Very well said, and thank you for this post. I am as white as they come and my husband is black, so this subject is one that is dear to my heart and something I think of often when considering my husband and the prejudice he has had to face every day.

  4. I LOVE that you simply stated, Black Lives Matter. Yes to this a million times over. As a woman of color who reads your blog, I thank you for saying this out loud.

  5. Doing and saying whats right, in this way, is so important for this nation’s ongoing healing and recovery. So inspired by you!

  6. Wonderful, Emily. I could not believe that some racist troll, several days ago, had the nerve to ask me “if I always wanted to be White”. I love my blackness. I wrote about my experience on my blog, brianragsdalewriter.com.

    #Blacklivesmatter, today, tomorrow, and always.

    Thanks for incorporating that hashtag in your blog. To be honest, I have followed your career for quite some time, love your work, and knew that you worked with people of color (because I remember seeing them on your HGTV episodes). I didn’t know where you stood on this issue and so it is great to hear your thoughts. Reassuring, actually.

  7. I’m late and just catching up on my blogs. But I wanted to thank you for using your platform to say this. You’re good people, Emily.

    And I also want to give major props to the comments section. I held my breath as I scrolled, and was so relieved to see such kindness. When has that ever happened in a comment section on the internet, much less one about social politics? Hell, I’ve seen people get pretty rude in your comments for posts that are far more innocuous. Even for the one comment that threw out the ever-predictable “All lives matter” — the responses to that were patient and gentle, too.

    So, high five, team! And thanks again, Emily.