Day 12: I Remember Her

On this Memorial Day, we are duly bound to remember our military, past and present, who have given their lives for our freedom. As a Christian, I am constrained to remember those whose faith fanned their fights, fueled my faith and have encouraged my righteous fights. As I continue to look at the history of the strong black woman, I dedicate the following poem to the memory of such a woman:

I remember her:

That strong one who showed me how to get it done.
That one with a great resume
Full of laurels and letters,
Testifying to her story of how she had overcome.

I remember her:

Before she stepped foot on a slave ship, she marshaled troops, had her own camp in the Motherland.

I remember her:

She survived the stacking and the stench
Her bruised body, among others, lying in filth.

I remember her:

She kept her head, though sometimes hung low, when beaten or raped or when loved ones were sold.
She kept going, believing for something better.

I remember her:

Singing songs to soothe her soul
Humming hymns to give her wind
Praying prayers to medicate, to dedicate her life for them:
Polygamous and racist systems
Working harder than any man
In business and on the land
And birthing children
And nursing children
And gathering sanity and salvation while fixing a little meal in the kitchen

I remember her:

Her cruel fate kept her focused on Jesus
Weary-eyed, whole body tired and worn.
But she always moved on.

I remember her

Giving herself, rarely giving up, never wanting to give in to
Paternal, institutional, spiritual or environmental sin.

I remember her

Slavery survivor, domestic work provider, academic and business star rising.

I remember her

Life educated
College matriculated
Smarts with common sense
She did it in my defense
Could do it in God’s strength

So I remember her.

Copyright 2010 by Rhonda J. Smith


2 responses to “Day 12: I Remember Her

  1. My, my, my! This is all-inclusive! You covered all of the descriptions and depictions of the strong black woman. This poem was well written; painting a picture that all could view and receive something from. I marvel at the gift of writing and your ability to sympathize/empathize and so accurately depict the strong black woman because you are she living in a delivered state. Thank you for remembering her, but understanding that our destiny is far beyond our collective experiences.

  2. musingsofastrongblackwoman

    Sharon, thanks, especially your last phase “our destiny is far beyond our collective experiences.” You have accurately summarized what I hope we can all come to understand.

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