Only her children could see her true.
If she was beautiful in her youth, No one remembers.
After years of hard work and children
She’s no longer well-built and slender.
Her clothes were worn and she sometimes looked rough.
Yet her character was noble and mother’s will was tough.
She’s embarrassed to say that even her underwear was old;
Such a generation of warmth, one felt from her soul.
She was always out of date and timeless in fact.
It was special people that could see the qualities she packed.
Had no desire to be on display.
There were more profound thoughts on her mind that did weigh.
But it was her children that did conceive–a need to have recognition of her in the community.
She cold have been on TV; but thought herself more important to her family.
To teach, guide and feed them home cooked meals.
These are the things, to her were real.
There she was struggling with no husband, you know.
It kept her ragged, worried, vulnerable, and so;
She did a make over at her children’s request, Just to show them that she could have been the best – In the world; she could have passed the test.
Now they understand mother’s sacrifice for her children ’s success.
What their mother was trying to say,
It’s the intention in one’s choices for which life will pay.
The greatest contribution that a mother can make
Is the release of off-spring who contribute to the world,
Not from it, only take.
And that everyone can appreeeciate.
In the era of Dr. Martin Luther King, we had a surge of leaders to spring up. It was a span of time which began in the 30’s, peaked in the late 50’s through the 60’s and ended in the early 70’s. It was an eruption of Black Saviors like: Noble Drew Ali, Elijah Muhammad, Martin Luther King, Stokley Carmicheal, Huey Newton, Bobby Seals, Malcolm X Shabazz, Jessie Jackson, H. Rapp Brown and Muhammad Ali. We look at this era as an incredible emergence of Black manhood coming to full bloom. It was an era in which segregation required that we support our own businesses.
There were African American Millionaires who were doctors, lawyers, contractors and a multitude of Black business people – especially in Atlanta. Our progress was curtailed by the dismantling of the family cornerstone, an undermining of the common people’s education system and a strategic restructuring of the medical system with the advent of HMO’s and the access of legal representation being priced out of reach for the average and low income people.
In reality, it was also the era of the unsung “sheroes,” great women who stood behind many of the male outcomes, shaping and influencing many of the aforementioned male heroes. These are the women that history is trying to erase.
The song, “Sadie, Don’t You Know We Love You” is representative of these women. There is no way that I can write the names of the women who were so loving, always sacrificing, enormously encouraging. And when a threat was at hand, they would be heroically fighting for their families. These were women displaying wisdom beyond explanation; and they worked miracles for the benefit of their families.
This is the recognition of one of those women from back in the day. Though fictional for the purposes of this story, she represents all women of strength and courage.
Any similarities you see written within this this fictional woman, who we’ll call Earline, feel free to attach yourself as represented, in addition to your mother, aunts and/or grandmothers. Earline had a husband and was dutiful to him. She followed his instructions and helped him in his effort to support his family. Her husband died suddenly from not going to the doctor about his elimination problem, until it was too late.
She worked two shifts in two different nursing homes in order to not loose the home they were buying. She was the mother of five, six or seven children. On her way home from the third shift job, she would make periodic stops at the schools to check on her children’s progress. Her children were A students – all of them.
Earline ran her house like a well-oiled machine. It was immaculate. The children all had assigned chores: cooking, cleaning, washing, ironing, yard work and school work.
Their clothes looked good and their hair was never out of place. Now, they didn’t have a lot; but they took care of what they had. They were not on welfare and her children went to MIT, Marquette and UW Madison with scholarships and so on.
After her children finished school, she went to get her high school diploma, then her Bachelor’s and Doctorate degrees– all the while, working. This is the kind of woman that deserves an Honorable Mention, at the very least.
The girl children of this age saw their mothers struggle and sacrifice so much that it made the role of wife and mother look very unattractive.
White America’s children rebelled and are reflected in the “Hippie/Love Child and Peace” movement. The female youth desired the more attractive lifestyles of the office/corporate world, but they were unprepared for the reality of it. The universities taught the middle and lower class students to have only two children and to engage in a consumer lifestyle. Their education consisted of information that would make them good employees.
The upper class school text told them to have as many children as possible. Their education was and is an exposition of the world under the control of their parents.
Do you remember our economic text? It contained pictures of Blacks dressed impeccably, coming out of a house with cracked walls and raggedy furniture approaching a new car.
What was it saying, look the part—buy the best clothes—then get an expensive car and the last thing you need to do is acquire a home, the symbol of success and a stable family.
It wasn’t about how to build wealth; it was about how to be a consumer. Of course, I challenged that – I was so upset after that debate I initiated with the teacher. He ended the debate with the statement, “What shows do you Blacks watch on TV? ‘What’s Happening’ and ‘Good Times?’” He said, “No one stops you from turning the channel to ‘Washington Week.’” I had no rebuttal.
There was no real economics being taught to us; it was “ni–ernomics.” Our community is still under their spending plan today.
The role of mother as an economic source was and is recognized by the society in control. That role was downplayed to us in class.
It became all about women having freedom to spend their money on clothes, shoes, pocket books, hair and nails. The selfless sacrifice has been exchanged for selfish spending. The point here is a mothers’ focus on their home is second to nothing.
We need to appreciate and respect the power of the mother. The best way to do that is by way of the men.
A father can hold his woman in high esteem and show his children that he will not allow them or anyone else to disrespect her.
He would never place more value on the streets than the woman in his home. If he did that, it would tear down the sacred station of mother and wife.
Women may be the example in society, but men are the enforcers of that example. Could that be one of the reasons why we are hard pressed to find men like the ones produced in Dr. Martin Luther King’s era?