Representing Pillars of Strength, Wisdom and Courage in Today’s African-American Village
“The love of a mother is the veil of a softer light between the heart and the heavenly Father.” –Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Mother’s Day is a day of fantasy and magic come alive reminding us of one of the most important and vital key elements of a civilized society – Family
It is a day to salute those Black children who have been raised by mothers, stepmothers, grandmothers, aunts, older sisters, cousins, family friends, foster mothers.
Mother’s Day was created by Anna Jarvis, who organized observances in Grafton, West Virginia and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on May 10, 1908. As the annual celebration grew in popularity, Jarvis asked Congress to designate a day to honor mothers. In 1914, Congress declared the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.
Mother – The Heart of the Black Village
In the black community, the tradition of “taking care of our own” is a strong part of African-American culture. Black Mothers play a crucial role in preparing and ensuring hope and a brighter future for the tens of thousands of Black children growing up and as the next generation of African-American leaders.
One such community effort to remind, recall and preserve solid African-American traditions and teach strong family values amidst challenges and obstacles is the Mother and Daughter Day Painting Parlor, sponsored by Parents Against Predators.
“Mother’s Day is special to me,” said Sonia Parker. “My mother has passed away and I miss her deeply. It is hard to celebrate Mother’s Day without her, but I remember all she did for me and I encourage other community groups and organizations to give back to mothers from all walks of life.”
The Mother and Daughter Day Painting parlor was designed to bring two groups together- mothers of murdered children and mothers who have living children to meet, sit down, enjoy some priceless down time, fellowship and just have fun in a small festival and carnival-like atmosphere.
This is the 9th year for the annual event, but this year added a special twist – bringing the children together with the Moms for a full family experience that honored mothers past, present and future.
For Burnita Diane Shepard said the day was a tribute to mother like no other. She added that it was a real remider of how much she loves her mama.
“One of my Best Day of the year! Mother and Daughter Day Painting with PAP,” she wrote commenting about the event. “This was a special day watching mothers and daughters bond, laugh, dance, smile and cry with each other.”
She said it was strong black women sharing, aspiring, encouraging each other.
“(It was) Letting our daughter see our strength and love for one another,” she said. “A day in a lifetime. A Mother and Daughter Day!”
The event featured discussion and talk sessions and interaction time between the two groups. It was an opportunity to get acquainted, tell stories about life changing experiences and get powerful life-giving information and advice that helped mothers, daughters and families keep their eyes on the prize of steering mothers and children toward success despite the losses of loved ones, income or being a single parent.
Some spent time talking about the power of Black motherhood and how their mothers taught them lessons about life and passed key lessons and information about handling child rearing, education and focusing on getting the most out of life.
Black Mothers Overcome Many Obstacles
Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau report, Black American mothers are found to lag behind among other racial groups in four key areas: marriage and divorce, education, number of children, and household expenditures.
Blacks in the United States continue to lag far behind whites in key areas of economic well-being like wealth, income and home ownership, a new report from the Pew Research Center finds.
In 2014, the median household income for whites was $71,300 compared to $43,300 for blacks. But for college-educated whites, the median household income was $106,600, significantly higher than the $82,300 for households headed by college-educated blacks, the report found.
Pew found that Blacks were still at least twice as likely as whites to live in poverty or be unemployed. And while 23% of blacks said they sought food from a food bank or pantry in the past 12 months, just 8% of whites said they did so.
Other challenges point to Black mothers having the highest rate of raising their children on their own.
According to Pew researchers, more than two-thirds of blacks surveyed or about 70-percent said racial discrimination was a major reason why some blacks have a hard time getting ahead in the U.S.
Add to that the fact that home ownership rates for Blacks also is just 43% compared to 72% for whites and you have a recipe for Black mothers to either fold under pressure or find a way to make the most from getting the least.
Fun and Family Activities
Besides food and a little wine-testing and sipping, one of the greatest highlights of the gathering was the interaction of mothers and daughters learning how creating and working on simple art projects, painting and drawing can be one of the cementing aspects of one-on-one interaction and communications between a mother and her child.
“We had a blast,” said Tricia Henderson.
Lashonda Conley has this to say about the Mother’s Day activity. “I really enjoyed myself.”
Artist Issac Salazar stole the show using his talented skills to display the value of art in developing family life.
He shared the best ways to not only generate interest in the craft, but also
engage in positive creative art, painting and drawing. It is one of the greatest ways to express one own individual self and tell a personal story using a paintbrush, he said.
He thanked the women for the opportunity to share his craft and instill and nurture a creative spirit in the hearts of the young people.
“I appreciate you guys for the opportunity,” he said. “Thanks!”
Black mothers have stood the test to time and even with the lack of a strong father figure, she has adjusted, adapted and still been able to provide needed discipline, training and give her best love, time and care to all her children.
Thank God for Good, Caring, Loving Black Moms…