My African American HerStory

***My HerStory***
I hope she is proud of me. This is my Great Grandmother Bertha Sanders she transitioned in August of 1972. She was 80 years old. Her Father was an African Slave and her Mother was A Native American. She worked and was on her feet till the day she passed.. She had just been diagnosed with Heart Disease when she told us that she would not under any circumstances die in a “white man’s ” hospital. She said, “I am going to lay down, prop my feet up, close my eyes and go home.”

That is exactly how she transitioned. She laid down on the couch in the living room and closed her eyes and did not wake up.

I had gone to church and when I returned she was already gone. The coroner had taken her body. It was just my Grandmother and I left to fend for ourselves.

My Great Grandmother had what we now call a bucket list. She wanted a Family Reunion on her 80th Birthday July 4th. She wanted me to start going to church. This had not really been a priority because she prayed with me and read from the Psalms and Proverbs to me at night before bed.

After her death I swear I could hear her at times saying to me, “Nesie be a good girl.” I also remember that she would say to my Grandmother Mamie, “Give that girl whatever she wants.” I was her girl and forever will be.

I share this story in HONOR of Black History Month. My Great Grandmother is truly African American. This is why I am offended when society wants me to be reduced to a color.
There is only one race, the human race.This is my HerStory

I honor the Mamie and Bertha in me

the image they continue to give me is one of possibility 

these women stood tall, I never saw their backs break

a slight bend now and again

but never broken

I never saw them without what they needed

they showed me with hard work anything can be defeated

I am not afraid to break a sweat

so you have not even seen the best of me yet

I am like my Great Grandmother Bertha,

she walked through this world on her own terms

she paid the price to decide

when to prop up her feet and die to flesh

this is who I am

my grandmother Mamie  did the same thing

you would always her saying

I will go die before I lose my independence

and she left this world on her own terms

this is where I come from

backs do not break

we walk on through

our souls help us decide what to do

like their great, great, and great-granddaughter Melisa

even though they left her for dead

she has a mission

she will decide when it is time to go home

so I am going to be all right

this is where I come from

I have decided I have more work to do

more light to shine, more seeds to be sown before I go home

I am going to lay my burdens  down

at Mamie, Bertha, Cara, and Margie’s feet

they are already free

and they are waiting on me to finish up this work

and come home and be free

by mozayik “the souls’ poet”  3.11.13

 

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3 thoughts on “My African American HerStory

  1. May she rest in peace. Enjoyed reading this post, thanks for sharing…

    Like

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