I became a fan of Justina Ireland once I heard the short Letters From Home on Nightlight: The Black Horror Podcast (find this podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Play). I … Continue reading October 2020 Book Review- Deathless Divide by Justina Ireland
Culinary justice. I admit it! I heard of this concept through the vessel of NPR (Shameless plug: If you have not ventured into NPR (National Public Radio) you are missing … Continue reading 28 (29) Days Of Blackness: Decolonizing The Table-The Work Of Michael Twitty
There was tweet through my timeline about a year and a half ago about reading. Through the timeline of the activist DeRay, he asked this question: “What generation reader are … Continue reading 28 (29) Days Of Blackness: Preservation of US
Yes, #Torches! In the matter of a month, we are doing 28 (29) Days of Blackness for the month of February! This got so much support and love last year, … Continue reading 2020 Overview: 28 (29) Days Of Blackness
TW: sexual abuse, domestic violence, molestation, rape Admin note: I am incredibly proud of Rebecca for being so forthcoming. Send her love and light. Some times the strongest women have … Continue reading I’ll Be Better When I Get There
Jackie Robinson Day is Monday, April 15. This year marks 72 years since integration of Major League Baseball after the ‘Gentleman’s Agreement’ with the former commissioner of the MLB Kennesaw … Continue reading Why #42 Is More Than Just A Number: Let Me Tell You About Jack Robinson
I am a fan of Feminista Jones! I love her wit, her intelligence and all her affirming Black Girl Magic. When I found out through social media (thank you, Twitter!) … Continue reading March 2019 Book Review-RECLAIMING OUR SPACE: How Black Feminists Are Changing The World From the Tweets To The Streets
When I was growing up, I wondered by my grandmother had named my mother Bessie. There was no other woman I knew named, Bessie. It wasn’t until I was in high school that I realized that name was short for Elizabeth. The only other Elizabeth I knew not in a Sweet Valley High book, was Queen Elizabeth II. My mother said that was whom she was named after. She believes it, so why not let her have it?
However, with the women my mother’s age the names I heard often where Esther, Estella, Dorothy, Elizabeth and Charlotte.
My adopted mother’s name is Charlotte.
I always thought the name sounded–hard. I think it was mean sounding because of the hard Ch that started that name. But there are few women I knew with that name who were mean.
It was this year that I found out why that name had the toughness that it did. It’s regal. Charlotte, Charlottesville,— the very name Charlotte–is after the British monarch Queen Sophia Charlotte, wife of King George III. And she was what was called a Moor, we would just call her black.
With all I knew, I considered myself to be well read until now. I literally found this out as concrete fact over the weekend! I had heard the historic rumors of her existence, but didn’t want to get my hopes up with research. But indeed this was fact! She was beautiful, multilingual, an abolitionist–and she discovered Morzart! Moreover, she was one of his early sponsors!
As I sat listening to News One, I absorbed this information in smooth waves. I searched Google for images of her. I needed to know what likeness there was of her. In seeing her, being able to associate name and face, I thought I would be able to further validate my own ambition. I wanted proof to be an ambitious, beautiful black woman was hereditary, not fluke. I needed the lingering parts of me settled about that. There was depiction of her I found where she looks like me or my mother when she was younger.
Names indeed have influence, prestige and lineage. Names let you hold you head up a little taller, especially if you know there’s a history behind them! Make no mistake, because you have the name you do, you already get to establish history and prowess with it. Need I remind you of *Quvenzhane Wallis?
Nikki Giovanni said,”If the black woman wasn’t made, she would have to be invented.” So accurate. It indeed is marvelous to be young, gifted and black.
*She the actress in the movie Beasts Of The Southern Wild, and most recently, Annie. She is an author, and actress whom was the youngest nominated for an Academy Award. There is a quote that is ascribed to the pronunciation of her name that the author, says requires one have ‘full use of the tongue.’ That article was in response to a Annie press interview Ms. Wallis did where the interviewer was having an issue saying her name, and wanted to shorten it. Quvenzhane said, “No, you can call me Quvenzhane.”