It has been written and witnessed throughout history, the role of the Black matriarch standing in to keep the family together through times of struggle and hardship. Sometimes she lends her strength, encouragement, and often times -money for a short period of time like; until a son or daughter finds a new job, or their own home. For some mothers, it is a lifetime spent raising their children, then their grandchildren, and taking in nieces and nephews.
Maybe she is a single mom, struggling to handle both roles, or a widow left to keep the family intact, or a sister who is raising her brother’s kids.
How did this come to be?
Going back in American history, it can be traced back to slavery where families were separated and the females who were too old for field work and had fulfilled their duty to care for and raise the master’s offspring, were relegated to caring for the children of the other slaves. Big Momma had a knapsack full of nurturing talents; emotional notes for raising spirits through songs and advice, medical know-how for bringing new life into this world, and solemn words to soothe a mother’s loss.
Today, we look no further than to Congresswoman Maxine Waters, D-CA 43rd District, who is holding down the house while the Democrats get their act together and decide how hard they want to recapture the House of Representatives and maybe even take control of the Senate.
Rep. Maxine Waters is our strong, courageous caretaker who is out front giving direction, leading the way and fighting for the constitution, our democracy and putting a check on President Donald Trump’s perceived authoritarian presidency.
Maxine Waters recently said “I was blessed with courage. And I was blessed with the kind of strength that does not allow me to be intimidated by the likes of Donald Trump,” Waters said. “Let him call me whatever he wants to call me. Let him say whatever he wants to say. He will not stop me.” Maxine Waters’ words invigorate and motivate the young, liberals, women, and all Americans of different races, creeds, and religions.
Black Women, in general, have been the “Big Mommas” of the Democratic Party. We were the overwhelming majority of supporters who voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 at 94 percent. We were also essential in the victory for Democratic Senator Doug Jones in Alabama over Republican, Judge Roy Moore. So it is no surprise that Congresswoman Maxine Waters has championed the role.
Our role has not changed much in the area of nurturer and spiritual backbone when it comes to holding the family together and making sure everyone gets what they need to grow stronger.
Still, the time must come when the person everyone depends on to hold things down, while everyone else (gets themselves together), starts looking out for herself too, and spreads those wings that protect her brood, and lifts herself up to soar high above to lead the others to horizons they’ve never known.
After all, she has done that before…