My mother inspired in me a loving and a fighting spirit.

I was always sure that she had a
much more interesting life than what she let on.

I recently showed her a picture that I had made of her
and remarked that she looked like
Harriet Tubman.

Harriet Tubman

She asked me, “Did you know that Harriet Tubman and I are sisters?
We were born in different times, but we’re still sisters”.

I looked to her for more information. She smiled and went back to manicuring her nails.
I said to myself, “That’s deep. I’m going to have to videotape her to get her story.”

When she passed away, I grieved for that lost opportunity to sit down and talk.

Going through her stuff, I realized that my mother was a tracker.
She tracked dates and events and assigned significance.
She pretty much kept a file on all her folks, dead and alive.

It hit me I do the same thing in my work; my sister does the same thing.
We have always been carrying out her work.

We are just like her.

So, I publicly declare that I will not grieve over any historical or ancestral knowledge lost in the terror of Black life.

The way to knowing our ancestors is through knowing ourselves.

We are so much like them.

Spirit Faith Grace Rage | Rafia’s World | Don’t Give Up | Portrait of My Mother

© Marilyn Nance