I just recently released a book entitled, “My Blackness” over the weekend. This podcast episode gives you a little bit of background on the book, along with a reading of four different poems coming directly from the book. Just in case you missed the last episode, here is the link: What will they say about you and me?
My Blackness Podcast Outline:
The Why and How of Writing “My Blackness”
Reading of Four Poems
If you are interested in purchasing “My Blackness”, here is a link to the book on Amazon. The kindle version is available for free until midnight, August 6, 2020. Purchasing this book means that I will receive a commission.
We often become overly consumed about what people say about us. However, when it comes to our legacy, what people say about us will definitely say a lot about the way in which we lived. Take a listen to today’s podcast to find out more.
1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus,
2 To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
3 I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day;
4 Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy;
5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.
6 Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.
7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;
9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:
11 Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.
12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
14 That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.
15 This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.
16 The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain:
17 But, when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found me.
18 The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day: and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus, thou knowest very well.
On tomorrow, I will be celebrating the heavenly birthday of my grandmother, Beatrice, affectionately known to her family as Mudear. There isn’t one day that goes by that I don’t think of her “figures of speech, quotes, words of wisdom, or just a matter of fact response to any kind of drama that is going on. I got my first lesson on community from living in her tiny apartment in the projects. Her place was filled with smells of fried chicken, grease popping and cabinets that displayed it, hair pressing, and the love that she had for her family.
I wrote the following poem ” My Blackness”, this past week, after dropping my car off for an oil change, and then waiting for my son to pick me up. I read the poem to my son, and he was surprised that I was able to write it so fast. His response, “Hmmm, I’m surprised that you didn’t need to have the perfect writing conditions present”. My response: “Yes, I know. Totally a God thing.” Me standing there on the sidewalk typing a poem into the Notes app on my phone? I then explained to him that I had read a blog post by a black blogger on the Black Lives Matter topic, particulary Juneteenth, and was immediately inspired to write poetry that helped to express my feelings about everything. Feelings about why we judge, what we judge, and what we think when we just don’t understand.
Well, here goes. Mudear, this is dedicated to you:
Everybody has a name that is special to them when they think of their grandmother. For me and my family, my grandmother was always referred to as Mudear. Yesterday was her birthday, and if she were alive, we would have been celebrating. Her death occurred a little over five years, right when I was at the height of a series of traumatic events going on. Due to trauma, sometimes it seems like it was just yesterday that she died, and other times it seems like it has been longer.
Mudear was the pillar of the family. She taught us how to enjoy life by doing the simple things. She didn’t wear fancy clothes or buy fancy things. She wasn’t afforded this luxury, and even if she was, it wouldn’t have been her. She liked wearing her “house dresses”, as she called them, scarves tied on her head, getting her long fingernails polished, and watching her favorite television shows.
We were graced by a woman who showed us what it meant to have community. On any given day, she would stretch six dollars to feed us for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, along with there being the job of several trips back and forth to the local meat market by my cousin and I. She welcomed people from all walks of life into her home, and even with all the drama that went on, we knew that there was nothing that dancing, singing, and good old laughs couldn’t cure. She loved her children, and having all of her grandkids around her. There was joy in simplicity at its finest.
Mudear wasn’t one who had to raise her voice in order to get her point across. She just used her old sayings from the South. If you looked nice, she’d say, ” You look sharper than Dick was when Hattie died.” If you sat inappropriately as a young lady, she’d say, “You are sitting mighty high”. If you didn’t clean up behind yourself, she’d say, ” Oh, you must have thought today was your birthday.”
The holidays at Mudear’s house were filled with music, dressing, turkey, ham, macaroni and cheese, and let’s not forget her homemade four layer chocolate banana cakes, coconut pineapple cakes, and caramel with pecan cakes. Although we all miss you, we know that the love you shared will never be forgotten. Thank you God for gracing us with Mudear.