“The most disrespected woman in America, is the black woman. The most un-protected person in America is the black woman. The most neglected person in America, is the black woman.” – Malcom X, 5/5/62, Los Angeles
my mom was queen of her school, entered college at 16, and yet her family was so poor they couldn’t afford melanin.
after earning a masters, having two kids and getting divorced all in a matter of 5 years, she became one of the first computer programmers
because back then men thought computers were like typewriters, so let one of the girls in the typing pool figure it out.
oh she figured it out.
my mom raised me and my sister pretty much alone. no immediate relatives were near by. we were the only black people in a huge suburban community so she was isolated in so many ways. and yet both of her kids went to college, on her back, because she persisted.
it is a quiet, even-keeled, magically locked-in confidence that i also see in Beyonce, Michelle Obama, and the sun. she is reliable and together and organized and elegant. now more than ever.
the only time i have ever seen her seriously flustered was a few years ago when we were walking the two short blocks from the Loews hotel in Hollywood to the Oscars red carpet, and it began raining.
black women do not like getting their hair wet.
especially in a formal affair.
my mom was raised in the deep south in the 1950s by a mother who, like many other black women, taught their black babies what the stereotypes were and how to be the opposite. the idea was, if they thought blacks were messy or “raggedy” or ignorant, then we had to be clean and sharp dressed and smarter than they could ever expect.
and when it came to being a lady, the bar was set even higher. thus looking drenched from the sudden rain burst was an instant nightmare.
with no umbrella in sight, my mom’s anger reached the heavens and she looked up with pursed lips
and it stopped.
until the mother of the busblog had safely entered the event.
i have many many things to be thankful for in my ridiculously blessed life, but at the top of the list is to have my mom as my mom.