Black News, Entertainment, Style and Culture - HuffPost Black Voices
iOS app Android app More
January 25, 2015

Baltimore Ravens Release Terrence Cody Amid Animal Cruelty Allegations

Terrence Cody
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Ben Carson Wouldn't Support Obamacare 'Even If It Worked'

Ben Carson
Scott Olson via Getty Images

New Classics Every Child Should Own

476804473
Inti St Clair via Getty Images

North Carolina Man Exonerated Of 1976 Conviction

Joseph Sledge
Raleigh News & Observer via Getty Images

5 Real Ways to Actually Support Black-Owned Businesses

6 Best Montreal Spots

Proof More Women And Minorities Should Take On STEM

Camille Eddy
KTVB

Police Launch Investigation After Video Appears To Show Cop Shoving Man In Wheelchair Into Street

Bofrierson
cop logic via Youtube

One Suit Dropped, One Still Pending Between MLK's Children

Bernice King Martin Luther King Iii
Getty

New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward Targeted For Gentrification

New Orleans Ninth Ward
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Diversity in the Classroom: How to Solve the Black Male Teacher Shortage

Black Teacher
monkeybusinessimages via Getty Images

McDonald's Has Another Fight On Its Hands

Mcdonalds
Justin Sullivan via Getty Images

The Harrowing Story Of One Man's Escape From The Genocide In Burundi

Burundi
Escape From Burundi

Campaigners Call For State Investigation Into Fatal New Jersey Police Shooting

Jerame Reid
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Violence Against Black Transgender Women Goes Largely Ignored

Black Woman Violence
Hans Neleman via Getty Images

Bill O'Reilly Says Ferguson Protesters 'Should Be Ashamed'

Oreilly Protesters
Fox News

University Of Chicago President: 'Chicago's A Better Place' For The Obama Library Than Columbia

Zimmer
HuffPost Live

A Tale Of Two Movements

Abortion Rally
ASSOCIATED PRESS

The 9 Best Things That Happened When YouTube Stars Interviewed Obama

Seflie
YouTube

Showcasing Her Natural Hair Got This Meteorologist Fired

Rhonda Lee
HuffPost Live

'Light Girls' Producer Stephanie Frederic On Healing From Colorism

Stephanie Frederic
Stephanie Frederic

This Protest Song Captures The Power Of #BlackLivesMatter Demonstrations

Sidewalk 2
Sidewalk Chalk/YouTube

'Defy Hollywood, See Selma'

Ava Duvernay
Paras Griffin via Getty Images

College Student Likely Died From Chewing Gum In Her Sleep

Shanice Clark
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Al Sharpton Pokes Fun At Infamous Teleprompter Flub

Sharptom Teleprompter
MSNBC

Video Shows Man Raising His Hands As He's Gunned Down By Police

Jerame Reid
NJ.com

New ‘Hands Up' Shooting Is Anything But Black And White

Jerame Reid
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Bill Gates Makes Bold Bet About Poverty, And Tech Plays A Big Role

Bill Gates Smiling
NBC NewsWire via Getty Images

'Black Lives Matter' Protesters Interrupt Capitol Hill Lunch

Capitol Protest
Christine Conetta/Huffington Post

Barry Levinson Blames Hollywood's Diversity Problem On Our Education System

Berry Levinson
HuffPost Live

Oregon Was Founded As A Racist Utopia

Oregon 1930
MPI via Getty Images

How The State Of The Union Missed The Mark On Ferguson And Racial Politics

State Of The Union
ap

With a Book You Are Never Alone

Zimbabwe Library
Bisila Bokoko

Jay Leno On Bill Cosby Allegations: 'I Don't Know Why It's So Hard To Believe Women'

Jay Leno
Aaron Davidson via Getty Images

Arkansas Bill Would Remove Robert E. Lee From MLK Day

Mlk
Getty

New Looting Footage From Ferguson Grand Jury Aftermath

Dellwood Looting
St. Louis County Police

Reverend Jim Wallis On Ferguson: 'We Need More Than A Commission, We Need A Movement'

Rev
HuffPost Live

FOLLOW HUFFPOST

    1. HuffPost
    2. Black Voices
    1. HuffPost
    2. Black Voices
    1. HuffPost
    2. Black Voices
    3. View all RSS feeds

Rihanna Just Dropped A New Song With Kanye & Paul McCartney

Rihanna New Song
RihannaNow.com

Kanye Finally Explains Why He Doesn't Smile

186118297
Gabriel Olsen via Getty Images

How Sherri Shepherd Responds To Critics Who Said 'You Can't'

Own Ownshow Sherri Shepherd
OWN

#CurlPower Encourages Women To Put Down The Flat Iron

Dove Love Your Curls
YouTube

Tia Mowry Is Our New Favorite Style Star

Tia Mowry
Tia Mowry Instagram

Here Are More Reasons To Love Tracee Ellis Ross

Tracee Ellis Ross
Gregg DeGuire via Getty Images

Stevie Wonder Set To Produce An Underground Railroad Miniseries

Stevie Wonder
Josh Brasted via Getty Images

An NBA Player Paid A Touching Tribute To Stuart Scott Last Night

Danny Green Stuart Scott
Jesse D. Garrabrant via Getty Images

Let Jennifer Aniston & David Oyelowo Show You How To Handle A Snub With Grace

Aniston Oyelowo
Getty Images

Starz Debuts 'Power' Season Two Trailer

Starz Power
Starz

20 Awesome Photo Ideas For Wedding Parties Who Know How To Have Fun

Wedding Party Fun
Bre Thurston Photography

Flavor Flav Pleads Not Guilty

Flavor Flav
Bryan Steffy via Getty Images

Kevin Costner Hopes His New Movie Redefines How People Think About Race

Kevin Costner
Vince Bucci /Invision/AP

Listen To This NKOTB/TLC/Nelly Mashup Ahead Of Joint Tour

Tlc Band
ASSOCIATED PRESS

Black Films Are Buzzing At This Year's Sundance Festival

Chiwetel Ejiofor
Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

How The Beyoncé Backlash Could Help The GOP

Beyonce On The Run Tour
Larry Busacca/PW via Getty Images

Nas Explains How Police Misconduct Exposes America's Weakness

Nas
Andy Kropa /Invision/AP

Vince Camuto Dies At Age 78

Vince
WireImage

Michelle Obama's State Of The Union Look Is Grey And Gorgeous

Michelle Obama State Of The Union 2015
NICHOLAS KAMM via Getty Images

Two Married Moms Ditched Glitzy Gigs In the Music & Fashion Industries To Launch The Crabby Shack

The Crabby Shack
New York Daily News

Anthony Mackie On 'Selma' Oscar Snub: People Are Tired Of Being Bombarded With Race

Anthony Mackie
Jason Merritt via Getty Images

Michael Franti's Proposal Video Reminds Us That Love Happens In The Little Moments

Michael Franti Engagement Video
Michael Franti/YouTube

Lil Wayne Drops New Mix Tape

Lil Wayne
Lil Wayne

Barack Obama Gets #YesWeTan Trending With Tan Suit Prank

Barack Obama
Bloomberg via Getty Images

This NBA Star's Post-Game Interview Is Pure Gold

Tupac
YouTube

'Single Ladies' Adds New Cast Member

Melissa De Sousa
Mark Sullivan via Getty Images

Lee Daniels Is Using 'Empire' To 'Blow The Lid Off' Homophobia In The Black Community

Lee Daniels
Jason LaVeris via Getty Images

Iggy Azalea On How She Deals With The Haters

Iggy Azalea
Erik Kabik Photography/MediaPunch/IPx

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.