My mother made her transition from this life on June 25th 2009. This day is also the transition day for Farah Fawcett and Michael Jackson. There was no fanfare about my Mother's death,no all day news,memorials or speechs,nor was there any clips to show about her life. She slipped away in a dismal room in a hospitial bed,after willing herself,I believe,to die.
My mother was born on St Patricks day March 17th 1928,in Macon Georgia,the thirteenth of fifteen children. Her Mother died when she was ten years old. She was,along with the two younger siblings siblings, raised by her older sisters who had migrated from the South to New York for better job opportunies and a better life. My Mother was Lena Horne Pretty. Long thick Black hair,hazel eyes,golden yellow skin and a sweet deposition. Her beauty never served her well. She attracted men who wanted to control her,by any means necessary,usually by violence. Her life was spent raising five children,spending a brief time in a Mental Hospitial after her second child,losing her self worth and esteem,struggling for a time as a single parent and for over twenty years being a victim of Domestic Violence.
I am an Artist. I was born an Artist,which to me means I have always be aware of myself in relationship to my environment.
As an Artist being raised by a woman who had her spirit drained from her by life, her social economic place in the world, her gender and ethnicity as well,she had little to offer the child I was. I spent years rebelliously creating myself against the back drop of who my Mother was. I realized after she made her transition that she never experienced freedom. I also realized that my life reflected in some ways the lack of freedom she had. I had allowed myself at different seasons of my life to be imprisioned by Middle class values,by men I chose to love,by denying the essense of me in order to fit into the mainstream thinking of suburbian life. I had closeted the Artist and put on the demeanor of a middle class wanna be house wife and Mother. I also allowed people to devalue my worth as an Artist,and sought their approval by taking jobs that were passionless
neglecting my true passion. My Mother's death became my rebirth. I am determine to live a life of truth,to be who I am.
To me that is the battle cry of FREEDOM.