July 29, 2009

Maya Angelou gets my 100th

I have been struggling for a week on what to write for my 100th post.
I read this statement that my Momma sent me and thought this would be the perfect venue to share Maya's insight...

Go and hug your “Michael” by Maya Angelou…

Yesterday I cried watching the Michael Jackson memorial. I cried for a little
black boy who felt the world didn't understand him. I cried for a little black
boy who spent his adulthood chasing his childhood. And I thought about all the
young black boys out there who may too feel that the world doesn't understand
The ones who feel that the world does not understand their baggy jeans,
their swagger, their music, their anger, their struggles, their fears or the
chip on their shoulder. I worry that my son, may too, one day will feel lonely
in a wide, wide world

I cried for the young children of all colors who may live their life feeling
like a misfit, feeling like no one understands their perspective, or their soul.
What a burden to carry.

As a mother, I cried for Katherine Jackson because no mother should ever bury a
child. Period. And I think about all the pain, tears and sleepless nights that
she must have endured seeing her baby boy in inner pain, seeing him struggle
with his self-esteem, and his insecurities and to know he often felt unloved
even while the world loved him deeply. How does it feel to think that the
unconditional love we give as mothers just isn't enough to make our children
feel whole? I wonder if she still suffers thinking, "what more could I have
done?" Even moms of music legends aren't immune to mommy guilt, I suppose.

When Rev. Al
Sharpto ("who always delivers one" awesome "funeral speech") said
to Michael's children, "Your daddy was not strange....It was strange what your
Daddy had to deal with," I thought of all the "strange" things of the world that
my children will have to deal with. Better yet, the things I hope they won't
ever have to deal with anymore.

And as a mother raising a young black boy, I feel recommitted and yet a little
confused as to how to make sure my son is sure enough within himself to take on
the world.
Especially a "strange" one. To
love himself enough to know that even
when the world doesn't understand you, tries to force you into its mold or
treats you unkindly,
you are still beautiful, strong and Black. How do I do

Today, I am taking back "childhood" as an inalienable right for every brown
little one.
In a world, that makes children into booty-shaking, mini-adults long
before their time, I'm reclaiming the playful, innocent, run-around-outside,
childhood as the key ingredient in raising confident adults. Second, I will not
rest until my little black boy, MY Michael, knows that his broad nose is
beautiful, his
chocolately brown skin is beautiful, and his thick hair is

And nothing or no one can ever take that away from him.

aint we bad? And ain't we black? And ain't we fine?
---Maya Angelou

peace and love


  1. I am without words. I am in awe of Maya's almost divine perception of what makes human beings human. My heart ached as I read this note to every human being who struggles to feel proud and worthy of receiving love and recognition in this often difficult world. God bless Maya for all the wisdom and love she shares through her beautiful words. Gerri, thank you so much for enriching my life today with this post from the "soul". Hooray for your 100th post! You're a beautiful soul too, my friend:)

  2. i love maya angelou...her words are always full of conviction and power.

  3. hey sistah #9--sock it to me one more time--LOL---gurl you hit some very valid points in this post--i too, have a son--he'll be 20 next week and i as a mother i worry about his well being--i dont want him to have a lost soul--he needs to be encouraged by me and my husband daily so he knows he's loved--he went out for a job interview today--so being home alone today, i cried after he left--so many reasons for the tears but i pray that his days be Jesus-and his heart filled with God's love to make it day by day---thank youfor this post---what a way to celebrate your 100th!!!---love ya ma!!

  4. Beautiful! That one question - can we even imagine that all this love we feel for our child might not be enough made me stop. I can't imagine loving Deaglan anymore and yet I'm sure there will be things he feels were missing when he grows up.

    Congratulations on your 100 posts. All so soulful and beautiful and just plain positive! Looking forward to a hundred more.

  5. Gerri -- Thanks for sharing this. I absolutely loved her closing line,

    "Second, I will not rest until my little black boy, MY Michael, knows that his broad nose is beautiful, his chocolately brown skin is beautiful, and his thick hair is

    And more beautiful words could not be said to honor Michael Jackson.

  6. i have to admit this struck me with a bit of fear...i'm a mom with both the same and completely different dilemma at the same time....raising a bi-racial young man, particularly without the benefit of his black fathers input, scares me that i will fall short on instilling the essence of what that part of him means....i do, however, fell capable of teaching him the 'how to be a child' and hopefully stay one for as long as time permits.....amazing post my friend! blessings...

  7. I agree with Briony... Maya Angelou knows how to deliver what she feels... and makes me feel that way too. This was beautiful.



Express Yourself