WELL- Smoke ON!!

Today I am sad at hearing the news of the death of a friend’s mother.introspective

I am sad because she was a lovely vibrant woman, a real character and you don’t get a lot of those in this life. And because she was a big part of my childhood and that will never come again.

So, in celebration of her life I am telling one of my favorite memories of her.

When my Grandmother dies, after a long illness, the women gathered as we do, to prop up the exhausted family.

It was as the services and obituary were being prepared. There was wine and memories and laughter.

I was present with a girl friend who had come over expecting a more solemn occasion, my aunts, the surviving daughters of my grandmother and two family friends, Miss Bea and Miss Cindy.

Now as a point of information and a little backstory, Miss Bea was a smoker and school teacher. Miss Cindy was partial to the intimate company of men and a nurse.

As Miss Bea was heading outside to enjoy a cigarette, Miss Cindy asked her “when are you going to quit smoking? Don’t you realize those cancer sticks are not good for your health.”grey haired

Miss Bea wasn’t having it and announced in a clear voice “Look Cindy, I will give up smoking when you give up fucking”

A hush fell over the room as we all waited to see how this was going to play out.

Miss Cindy raised just an eyebrow. “Pardon?”

Miss Bea didn’t miss a beat – “I will give up smoking when you give up fucking”grey haired2

Miss Cindy shrugged – “well then smoke on, Miss Bea, SMOKE ON!!!

We all howled with laughter – so loudly that my dog began jumping and barking .dog

heart handI am laughing now just thinking about it. “Well smoke on!”

Miss Bea and Miss Cindy are both gone now.  and the world is a worse place for it.

But can you imagine how much fun it is, where-ever they are?

yes-gawd-

What is an angry black woman

An angry black woman is one who stands in her own truth and articulates or concerns her needs and demands. She does not look down and avoid eye contact.
She does not shuffle.
She does not wear a red petticoat.
She has defined herself in such a way that you can’t pigeonholed her and thus must label her angry

To Repair With Gold

I recently learned that I am adopted.

Dee, Beckey, Alice and Doll (1961)
Dee, Beckye, Alice and Doll (1961)

secrets, shame, betrayal and lies
that’s the stuff of family ties
the more denial the tighter the tie
the bigger, the deeper the betrayal and lie”

I have begun a search in my life, for clarity, answers, truth and forgiveness. The elimination of shame and lies.
My whole concept of my family of origin had been a lie and it was someones bright idea to wait until I was over 50 years old and all the people involved, first hand participants are dead.

Mommy and Me (1985)
Mommy and Me (1985)
This is my mother, the woman who raised me.

I grew up and spent my entire life believing that I was she and my father’s only child and made all my decisions influenced by that knowledge.
I felt adored and protected by my parents and named two of my children in their honor.

Daddy, Me & Mommy
Daddy, Me & Mommy

Doll and Me (2004)
Doll and Me (2004)
This is my mother, the woman who gave birth to me.

I grew up, feeling loved and mentored by her. She was an ever present source of encouragement and direction.

The women in question are sisters. close, loving sisters and only death separated them in my life.

Doll and Beckye (1984)
Doll and Beckye (1984)
Alice (Nana) Selma (Doll) Katherine (Beckye)
Alice (Nana) Selma (Doll) Katherine (Beckye)
One was pregnant and unmarried, the other was married and unable to get pregnant. And I was the ultimate gift, that they gve to each other. My grandmother, the mastermind behind it all.

And now on the day after my birthday, I begin the search for understanding and acceptance.

My creation story was a lie and those who can shed the light of truth on it are either unknown or dead or both.

I get that it was the 60’s and I know that at some point between 18 and 30 years of age there was an affirmative duty to tell me everything, if not before then.

Feeling, broken and betrayed I sought first to confirm the story.

The first revelation is that there are no secrets. Everybody knew but me. Everyone I have asked was aware and all are paused to learn that I didn’t. Of the nearly 15 people that I have asked, only 1 had no knowledge.

The second revelation is that people mean well and don’t want to speak ill of the dead and or family.

The third revelation is that this lie has colored every aspect of my life.

What I would like people to understand is that it is not just YOUR SECRET. and that it is not SACRED. and I wont take on your SHAME!

So while I truly feel broken by this experience and it changes the way i feel about my life and everyone in it…
I repair with Gold.
With Platinum, Dammit!
I will never be the same. I am even better!! ♥

what does radical motherhood look like?

What does radical motherhood look like!!

It looks like all the black dolls and action figures, which are dolls for boys.

It looks like chocolate, dark to light and midnight.

It smells like sunshine and blacker berries with sweet, sweeter juice.

It tastes like cupcakes and ice cream to celebrate how beautiful and nappy your hair is.

What does radical motherhood look like? It looks like bright smiles and warm hugs!
my baby, my chocolate drop, my sweet baby so beautiful so smart so wonderful so MINE!!

It looks like tall strong men and women who love being black, how it looks, walks, talks, smells.

“ah sookie sookie now”, “keep it 100”, bright smiles surrounded by full lips. Brilliance dripping from each word.

“are you taller than me?” “ah Ma”.
call them out those radical moms that mothered you when you didnt know, when you couldnt know, do for yourself.

Call them out those strong women, who would die for you… take on that teacher, that other parent.
who saw you and held you in the most high esteem.
Call them out!

Libation ad honor.

those women, who would slap the devil with Jesus hisself, but dont you dare lie to me.

radical motherhood making two pots of greens, one vegan one with pork
radical mother hood, reading Langston with Bey in the background
call them out
radical motherhood drinking champagne from paper ups

radical motherhood talks about condoms
radical motherhood talks about police stops
radical motherhood talks about interviews and resumes while sprinkling way too much paprika on the potato salad.

“thats my baby”

All honor and praise