While the world celebrates Mother’s in the month of May. I believe it’s important for us to understand that a one day celebration can’t even touch the surface for the sacrifices of Black mothers.
Black motherhood is an elite club. It is a life journey that is not for the weak, but it will make you feel weak, take you to your weakest point. It also will make you feel the most empowered, “Being black and a mother comes with a unique set of experiences that are more than the sum of their parts. Black mothers are strong self-reliant, and self-contained Black mother’s role to nurture and preserve family.
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.” The message in Langston Hughes’s classic poem, “Mother to Son” continues to bear a perennial truth for Black mothers.
Well son, I’ll tell you: Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair. It’s had tacks in it, And splinters, And boards torn up, And places with no carpet on the floor—Bare. But all the time I’se been a climbin’ on, And reachin’ landin’s, And turnin’ corners, And sometimes goin’ in the dark Where there ain’t been no light. So boy, don’t you turn back. Don’t you set down on the steps “Cause you finds it’s kinder hard. Don’t you fall now—For I’se still goin’, honey, I’se still climbin’, And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair —Langston Hughes “Mther to Son”
Although this poem is a Black mother talking to her son. Black mothers have to be concerned about her children whether male or female. There is a richness and power in the voices of Black mothers. The mother in the poem uses a metaphor of a staircase to convey “the hardships and struggles of Black life” while also emphasizing her progress and perseverance. The poem explores the dignity and determination of a person when facing problems. The speaker compares her life to a ragged staircase and conjures uo on idea that one should not give up. She says that life is full of tests, challenges, and confusion and a person should confront with courage and determination, sacrifice to ensure a better future for the next generation.
I remember my mother, who was divorced and had only a six grade education, worked three jobs to make sure her children had a roof over their heads and place they could always call home. There was no rest forher weary soul. I awoke many mornings, hearing her pray, having conversation with God. While she was at work, she had to ask the white neighbor, Ms. Shirley, to watch the house and us. She was determined to care for her children at all cost.
Being a real Black mother isn’t a part-time job. It’s a life sentence. A commitment that doesn’t stop with age. In the midst of the agony, while George Floyd was laying on the street with a police officer’s foot on his neck, called for his mom who had already died. It amazes me when I hear folks say, “I’m grown now.” The age of the child is not important. It doesn’t end the responsibilities of a Black mother. You will always be her child, even after death, because God entrusted us with something sacred.
Black Mothers should be celebrated EVERYDAY!!!