Being A Proud Black Mother

I’m a proud black mother

Who reflects upon history

And understands the timeline,

The never-ending chronology

Of mothers’ fears, worries and concern,

About every child delivered and born

Into this world of inequality and scorn

Simply because of their skin tone.

 

I’m a proud black mother,

Who can and does empathize

With those who stood quietly,

Tears rolling down their face

Pain ripping apart every fiber of their being,

As they watched their babies,

Torn from their arms,

Sold, abused and misused, slaughtered and maimed

All at the white man’s whim

With no humanitarian laws against him.

 

I’m a proud black mother,

Who lived through Jim Crow laws,

Never fully understanding then,

Heartache endured of my kin

Who had to stay in “their place,”

Never muttering a word against

Discriminatory acts, fear etched in their face,

Because the laws were never just,

Never considered the black man worthy of equality

Or having just laws to protect their families,

All we got was silence, no response to our pleas

To be treated like human beings.

 

I’m a proud black mother

Who gave birth to two children

My daughter and son, in that order.

Teaching her how to avoid situations

That could traumatize her life,

Teaching him how to avoid strife

While living black.

Over 40 years later, since my children were born

Not much has changed, children are still torn

From their mothers in one way or another,

From police brutality or someone else’s brother,

Who just didn’t understand

How precious life is for every black man.

 

I’m a proud black mother

And though some may never admit,

Days of being concerned, fretfully

About the plight of every black child

Will never end, until every man, woman and child

Stops treating human beings differently,

Until laws include a humanitarian stance

With equality and justice for all,

No matter what our skin tone is called,

Because the simple truth is this,

If we believe mankind began on the African Continent,

We are all of African descent

And can no longer hide in ignorant bliss

Behind the lies of inferiority of one man

To appease a fragile ego of those needing

To feel and act superior.

 

I’m a proud black mother,

In my advanced age, still willing to take a stand,

Actively involved with my vote and my hands,

Working with the community to silence the hate

That if not quelled, will eventually obliterate

Any forward movement, any strides made

To cross that finish line where all men, women and children

Are seen as humans and not just the color of their skin.

But until that happens, please understand the need for all to see

Black Lives Matter—especially to mothers who look like me!

Give Thanks!

Give Thanks!

Give thanks to the LORD and proclaim his greatness.
Let the whole world know what he has done.

Sing to him; yes, sing his praises.
Tell everyone about his wonderful deeds. I Chronicles 16:8,9 NLT

PRAISE REPORT!

Every year, the Harper Woods Band Boosters hosts a wonderful event at the high school. This year, we celebrated hosting our 22nd Band-O-Rama!

This was my second year coordinating the event and though not everything was smooth sailing, we still had a wonderful day. God provided us with just the right weather to be outdoors–with sunshine and cool temperatures.

The community provided us with assistance from former band boosters which included the CFO of the school district and his wife, Kohl employees who volunteered and a number of students.

We enjoyed watching great band performances from local schools that ranged from 50 band members to over 200 and it was delightful!

Since this is our biggest fundraiser of the year, we try to make this event as profitable as possible, but reasonable enough for all to enjoy great food and I was told–repeatedly–that our grill master “was the bomb.”

Considering the fact that we never know what the weather will be from year to year when we plan this event, I can say–unashamedly–that I stayed in communication with my Daddy–I prayed for good weather, for cooperation with others, and participation from other schools and for everything to be the success He would have it to be. God never disappoints us when we know all things work for our good.

So, this morning, I’m a bit tired, but grateful–for all who contributed to this success and for meeting some really wonderful people to whom I am indebted to love for the rest of my life.

Our God is an awesome God and I know–as long as we continue to please Him–He will hear and answer prayer.

I’m thanking Him for giving me strength to endure and courage to persist in doing all things well and hearing and answering our prayers.

Giving thanks for all He has done, is doing and will do for all who love Him and live according to His Word.

 

Educating Our Future!

Some schools–depending upon where one lives–are already in session for a new school year. Others are going back soon! What are the students going back to do?

Speaking from experience with Detroit Public Schools, many of the inner city students are going back to chaos–overcrowded classrooms, overused testing, and demoralized, unhappy teachers. None the chaos is the fault of the students, but they are the ones who will be negatively impacted by it the most.

First of all–PARENTS–get your act in gear and teach your children to respect authority and property of others. One of the reasons for the overcrowded classrooms is the budget allocation for textbooks which students either take home to keep or deliberately desecrate with profanity–making them inaccessible to others. The other reason for much of the chaos–ill-mannered, ill-behaved students who interfere with the process of learning. They have never learned to do school and when a teacher meets some of the parents–they know the apple truly did not fall far from the tree.

If parents truly want a quality education for their children, they need to engage in the process–get actively involved with the schools and the legislators making decisions about the schools.

The Detroit Public School district has had an assigned Emergency Manager for five years now that has not made a difference in the debt accrued. Why? Too many people coming into the system with the sole purpose of “lining their pockets” and totally forgetting about the kids they are supposed to help educate. This would not happen if we had anyone with integrity having oversight of the Detroit Public Schools. For those who know the power of prayer–it’s prayer time–pray for all Emergency Managers to develop a conscience and do their jobs–not line their pockets with the funds that should be spent on educating the children. Everyone needs to get out and vote–getting rid of all those politicians who are only interested in promoting their own–self-serving agendas–not the benefit of all the people.

EDUCATORS–FIGHT BACK–and stop the testing nonsense and spend the time–TEACHING your students. Students do not learn anything from over-testing; they learn from educators who have time to teach them the skills for which they are being tested. If they have not been taught, why are they being tested? A little common sense is needed here.

ADMINISTRATORS–grow a pair–and move out of the way of those teachers who are “still interested” in teaching children what they need to know to survive in this world. Using threats, being demeaning, humiliation and coercion will not accomplish anything other than unhappy, rebellious staff who will only do the minimum required to get you off their backs.Abusing your staff does not make you a great administrator–understanding what your staff needs and supporting them in their efforts will get the job done. If you are an administrator and are only a doormat to the district–resign! Get out of the way so our children can learn!

From observation and research, I know there is a conspiracy afoot to keep students from Detroit in a rut–for manual labor only and everyone who is involved in the system and is not willing to change the way we do education in Detroit is guilty of being a participant in the conspiracy. Our students need to know grammar–for conversational purposes as well for writing. When the District decided that grammar did not need to be taught (almost 20 years ago)–that should have been a signal for all to understand the complicity in keeping our children–illiterate. Now, we graduate functionally illiterate students who cannot read above the seventh-grade level. Where do they get to work? Fast–food restaurants and anywhere they do not have to think or read with comprehension. Just take a look at the cash registers being used today and you’ll understand my point.

So now, what are you going to do? Get mad at me or do something about educating our future?

You can read more in my book, If Parents Cared Enough, Johnny and Juaneshia Could Read  found here: http://www.amazon.com/Mary-M-Hall-Rayford/e/B00BAW31CQ/

Get mad, but get busy when you get over being mad!