On this very special Mother’s Day, I would like to talk about my mother and what she means to me. Now that I have my own family, I have a new found appreciation for what it means to be a parent, and often think of the things that my mother had to endure. She is from a small town by the name of Lawrenceville, VA a place in which even today’s population does not exceed 1500 people. Growing up in segregated Virginia in the 1950’s, she told me stories of Black and white water fountains and unequal conditions from first hand experience. Its one thing to read about Jim Crow in a dusty old textbook, and another thing entirely to have stories recounted to you from one who has endured the indignities of second class citizenship. For instance, when she was growing up, Black people could not go to Virginia Beach. They had to either go to Buckroe Beach in Hampton, or another place called Seaview Beach. Because of that kind of knowledge, I take nothing for granted. I think about the fact that I can go places where my mother could not, and it is extremely salient point that has helped leave a mark on my awareness on so many levels.
Seeing little prospects for employment in such conditions, in 1964, she would leave Lawrenceville for New York City, where she would meet my father.
While there are countless life lessons I have learned from both of my parents, one in particular I got from my mom is the importance of keeping records. Over the years, family records, pictures, documents were stored safely so we would know our history. Knowing that things like this are important to me, my mom would hand me most of the family records. With them, I intend to pass down the knowledge to the next generation. Thank you mom, for being the guardian of the family history. Thank you, for raising me to be aware of what I face in this world we live in, not in the spirit of fear and trepidation, but with an earnest and resilient approach that is necessary to survive. What does your mom mean to you on this Mother’s Day 2010? Happy Mother’s Day to all!