Those tides of fear

Whenever I forget how to be brave, I think of her.

Sometimes I gingerly look through this nearly 80 year old journal, written by a 20 something year old woman, from a small Alabama town… and I feel her fortitude emitting from the pages.

A woman who would eventually become my maternal Grandmother, my Bigmama.

My Bigmama gifted me with her daughter, my Mother… a debt that cannot be repaid, so I swore to honor her until there was no breath left in my lungs.

I remember the certainty in her voice whenever it was mentioned…

If she was scared… of the unknown, going to a new place where she didn’t know anyone.

And her answer always inspired me.

“Shit… scared?! Scared for what?

My Bigmama was thrust into a untenable position, but she pushed back against a backdrop of Jim Crow Racism, masochism, loss and World War II, because she was too busy to consort with fear.

My Bigmama (circa late 1940’s)

She picked up and headed North for the promise that Chicago offered, leaving the restrictive confines of the South for a different type racism that provided a greater chance for upward mobility… as her refusal to work:

“in some white folks kitchen where they’d treat me worse that the blamed dog… that wasn’t for me, hell… I had my own kitchen to take care of!”

I never knew my Bigmama to hang her head… her pride, was contagious.

When Aunt Lee would visit us down South when we were younger… she would tell us about Black folk having them factory jobs, overtime and pensions, like the Schoolteachers got “And I said. Shit… Chicago that was the place for me, that was how me and you Auntie’s got here!”

Whenever she would tell me this story… I’d sit awestruck, as if it was my first time hearing it.

My Bigmama and my Great Aunts… followed my Aunt Lee to Chicago in the mid 1940’s.

So when the pandemic pokes at my humanity and challenges my resolve… I find myself thinking.. what would my Bigmama do? And I answer as she would:

“Shit scared?! Scared for what?


Copyright © 2021 ShunPwrites. All Rights Reserved.

2 thoughts on “Those tides of fear

  1. I loved this! I had no idea how GREAT of a writer you are.
    Can’t wait to read more!

    I ordered your books. I want it personalized. Just kidding.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to blnbrooks06 Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

About Shun P. Writes

Author, Genealogist, Writer, Poet, possessor of 2 cents, blogger and eternal student of life, who harbors a firm belief in his Grandmother's mantra that: "People need to get off of their rump and do something". All while keeping in mind that a cheering section will often get in the way.