Black News, Entertainment, Style and Culture - HuffPost Black Voices
iOS app Android app More
September 16, 2014

These Major Cities Are On The Short List To Host The Obama Library

Barack Obama
Alex Wong via Getty Images

What's Happened In The 5 Months Since #BringBackOurGirls

Boko Haram Chibok
AP

Former DOJ Civil Rights Nominee: Principles More Important Than A Job Title

Debo Adegbile
Alex Wong via Getty Images

Charles Barkley: 'Every Black Parent In The South' Hits Their Kids

Charles Barkley
Noah Graham via Getty Images

Mom Blames Race For Fatal Police Shooting Of Son

Darrien Hunt
Facebook

Limiting Voter Participation In The Middle Of Crisis

Vote North Carolina
Sara D. Davis via Getty Images

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand: Condoleezza Rice Would Be An 'Extraordinary' NFL Commissioner

Condoleezza Rice
Barry Brecheisen/Invision/AP

WATCH: NFL Hall Of Famer Delivers Moving Speech On Child Abuse

Cris Carter
ESPN

REPORT: Ray Rice To Appeal Indefinite Suspension

Ray Rice
Ronald Martinez via Getty Images

Everything You Need To Know About Michael Brown's Record

Michael Brown
Scott Olson via Getty Images

AP Tweets About 'Habitual Judging' After Child Abuse Indictment

Adrian Peterson
Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery via Getty Images

At 9 Years Old, Grace Has Already Beaten Cancer. Now She's Taking On Child Homelessness

Grace Callwood
WeCancerve

Police Allegedly Mistake Black Actress Kissing White Partner For A Prostitute

Daniele Watts Detained
Instagram/Chefbelive

Tavis Smiley: 'Black Americans Have Lost Ground Under Obama'

Tavis Smiley
AOL/Huffington Post Media Group

Adrian Peterson Turns Himself In To Police

Adrian Peterson
ASSOCIATED PRESS

How Obamacare Could Be A Huge Boon To 'Alt-Labor' Groups

Obama Smile
JEWEL SAMAD via Getty Images

The Worst Jobs For Your Health

Worst Jobs Health
Andreas Schlegel via Getty Images

‘Why Didn't You Just Leave?’

Lovern

New Details Emerge In Zimmerman Road Rage Incident

Zimmerman Road Rage
Lake Mary Police

School Hallway Monitor Who Strangled Prostitutes Is Dead

Kendall Francis Dies
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Rarely-Seen Photos Spotlight The 1970s Social Scene Of South Side Chicago

South Side Photos
Michael L. Abramson

Black Elementary Students Are Absent At Alarming Rate In This State

Empty School Desk
Creatas via Getty Images

Report: Death Toll In Central African Republic Tops 5,000

Central African Republic
ASSOCIATED PRESS

WATCH: NFL Broadcaster's Impassioned Plea For The NFL To Address Domestic Violence

James Brown Speech
CBS Sports

Follow HuffPost

    1. HuffPost
    2. Black Voices
    1. HuffPost
    2. Black Voices
    1. Most Popular on HuffPost
    2. Latest News
    3. Black Voices
    4. View all RSS feeds

Robin Thicke Reportedly Admits To Drug Use And Lying

Robin Thicke
Joseph Okpako via Getty Images

Chris Brown To Ray Rice: It's About How You Control Your Anger

Chris Brown
Slaven Vlasic via Getty Images

These Portraits Of Moroccan Hipsters Are More Nuanced Than They Look

Hassan Hajjaj
Hassan Hajjaj

Idris Elba And Dolphins Take The Box Office

No Good Deed
YouTube/Sony

Bill Cosby To Loan Art Collection To Smithsonian

Bill Cosby
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Kanye West Tells The Media To 'Pick Another Target'

Kanye West
Jeff Kravitz via Getty Images

Snoop Dogg Allegedly Posts Anti-Gay Instagram Message

Snoop Dogg
Allen Berezovsky via Getty Images

WATCH: Wendy Williams Eats A Crow

Wendy Williams
WW

Jazz-Funk Pioneer Dies At 75

Joe Sample
Frank Hoensch via Getty Images

FLASHBACK: Marvin Gaye Delivers Iconic Anthem At 1983 NBA All-Star Game

Marvin Gaye Nba
Rolling Stone

Beverly Johnson Is ‘Angry' To See So Few Black Faces On The Runway

Beverly Johnson
Ben Gabbe via Getty Images

Black Twitter Won't Let Vogue Forget Epic Article Fail

Iggy Azalea Back
Imeh Akpanudosen via Getty Images

Beyonce And Nicki Minaj Finally Performed 'Flawless' Remix Live

Nicki Bey
Nicki Minaj/Instagram

New Book Says Bill Cosby's Jokes Masked Pain

Bill Cosby Black And White
Steve Allen via Getty Images

Comedy Sketch Nails Media Portrayal Of Black Victims To The Wall

Black Teen Public Relations Firm
Funny Or Die

Michael Che Makes Comedy History

Michael Che Weekend Update
Mindy Tucker

Elise Neal Lands Role In Aaliyah Biopic

Elise Neal
Paul Archuleta via Getty Images

Sunflowers and Yellow Roses: Mother Love

Comments (12)


I know what it is for Mother's Day to be hard. When your Mama's broke, and I don't mean, when your Mama has no money, I mean when your mother has a heart so hurting she can't love herself, she can't love her child, she can't even like being black or stand being a woman, the second Sunday in May is not an easy day.

It's a day for pushing rocks up hills.

For years the biggest rock I pushed up the hill on Mother's Day was trying to get my mother to see herself the way I saw her, as the most beautiful woman in the world.

When I was about six years old I tried to tell her with homemade (from a box) chocolate pudding. I spelled out "I love you" in cereal on the top of the bowl of brown goo. She put the mess in the sink.

As the years passed I mastered some of the art of cooking. I learned to make French crepes with blackberries and raised German pancakes with strawberries and I made them for my Mama. I never learned how to make her see herself as anything but too round and too brown.

Eventually I stopped cooking for the lady. I got a job babysitting. I started buying her pretty things. I remember a silver-plated basket from Saks Fifth Avenue I filled with fancy florist shop roses. She thought it was pretty. And irrelevant.

There was a boatload of pain, a boatload of shame, and a boatload of void those roses couldn't drown. At the center of it was those roses couldn't make her forget about loosing her mother when she was five years old.

I spent my first Mother's Day as a mother in Yugoslavia. I thought I might be dying and I was on a much needed spiritual retreat with my best friend. My nine month old was in Maryland with her Daddy. I celebrated the day by writing letters proclaiming my love for my daughter's gorgeously brown and round infant self.

These last twenty-three years Mother's Day has become a favorite day. When my child was an infant there was some thought that she might not be able to see, some thought that she couldn't hear, some thought that she was far from the near perfect she turned out to be. It was then that I fell in love with flowers. I would hold sweet smelling ones under her nose and I would stroke her cheek with them. If all she knew of the world was going to be my lap and a silent darkness is was going to be a sweet scented silent darkness, it was going to be a soft lap.

I was mother. I was a mother of the most amazing person in the world. I had never been more bound or more liberated.

Years later that girl became a young woman who gave me a bouquet of sunflowers and roses. To my eyes the sunflowers were raggedy but right and the roses were exquisite. As I recall her card read, "the sunflowers are you and the roses me. We are the perfect bouquet. Happy Mother's Day."

And it was. From the very first flower we shared, something straggly picked wild in dusty garden, I let the present eclipse the past. I let the flowers matter. On the second Sunday in May, there are no rocks and no hills, round our way.

Maybe your Mama has passed. Maybe you never knew your Mama. Maybe your Mama didn't love you. Maybe you can't have a child. Find someone who needs a flower, give it to them, and let it matter.

Let it remind you of who your other mothers are and of who needs your mothering.

Motherlove is not inevitable. It is not conservative. It is a powerful love that transforms the lover and the loved one by celebrating and exalting the unique identity of both. It is unselfish and unending. It is brave and it is fierce. It proclaims, "even murderers have Mama's" and "I brought you into this world I'll take you out of it" while it means, "I will take on anything and everyone who stands in your way."

Risking death, and every birth risks death, mothers brings new life, assenting with every cry and push; or incision and tear; or signature and sigh; or hug and hand squeeze -- to the eclipsing significance of each soul entrusted to our care -- and of our own significance as nurturers.

Mothers let the flowers matter.

"Mother-love is not inevitable. The good mother is a great artist ever creating beauty out of chaos."

I wrote those words. They're on a few million Starbucks cups. The flowers remind us to keep making beauty out of the chaos. To keep being a mother, is to keep seeing the beauty. And much of it begins in the eye of the beholder.

Be somebody's Mama today. Maybe even your Mama's.

Alice Randall is the author of 'Rebel Yell,' 'The Wind Done Gone,' and other works of fiction. A Writer-in-Residence at Vanderbilt University, she teaches Bedtime in the Briarpatch, an intensive examination of African-American children's literature from the seventeenth century to the present. Read her blog on Red Room.

Comments: (12)

Add a comment

Page 1 of 2

Most Commented Articles

Daily Drama

The Best Clips From TV's Hottest Shows


More Daily Drama >>

Get Closer to BV

  • slider Image
  • slider Image
  • slider Image

BLACK MUSIC NEWS
The latest news and updates on a multitude of music stars.
Check It Out!

BLACK MUSIC NOTES

       

MEN OF MCCAFÉ SEARCH
McDonald's continues its nationwide search to find five community-service minded black men during this year's CIAA tournament.


LOOKING FOR A FEW GOOD MEN

       
 

Find a Message Board

Discover conversations on everyone from Barack to Beyonce. There are nearly 50 forums, so click on a category below and find the right one for you.