Welcome to the rest of the conversation!
Welcome to my blog! It has been a blessing to have gotten to know so many of you through my radio show on WVON as well as through my other appearances on various platforms, in my many and varied incarnations. Deborah Douglas, a brilliant writer at Huffington Post, has been after me forever to begin this blog. She has rightly pointed out that although we get a chance to speak with one another throughout the week, there is more that you need and want to say. So Deborah, thank you for the push! And everybody, let’s get things started… Beginning today, I invite you to come on over, have a seat and click away!
I hope that together you and I will use this platform to discuss the matters of the day, be they social, political, religious, cultural, institutional or personal. Together…That is the key. Together let us endeavor to have conversations that are civil, civilized and — as we grow together — loving. We can and will disagree; let’s just try to remain agreeable as we do so.
I’ll post some stories here and I’d love for you to post stories, as well. Who knows? I might be able to cover them on my radio show or write about them. And if there is something we have covered on the show that you would like to comment upon further, please let me hear from you.
So, let us begin…
This is Mother’s Day weekend and it is my privilege to inaugurate this blog as we celebrate the women who gave birth to us all. And as we honor our Mothers, let us be mindful of the origins of this holiday.
Julia Ward Howe, the lyricist for the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” was an ardent proponent of human rights, an abolitionist, a pacifist and a poet. Even though this song was adopted by the Union Army as its “battle hymn,” it was originally an abolitionist anthem; indeed, it was her plea to end slavery. Although her pacifist leanings made Mrs. Howe a reluctant warrior, she was a fierce and unyielding foe of that “peculiar institution,” human beings as chattel: slavery.
As much as she deplored slavery and worked toward its extinction, she anguished over the magnificent toll the war exacted of America: More than 600,000 Americans died in this conflict, and to this day there is no reliable accounting for the physical and psychological wounds of the survivors of the war. According to records and reflections of that period, the devastation was indescribable. To this day the Civil War remains this country’s most devastating and arguably most defining moment.
It was in that context that Mrs. Howe made her case for the end to war and the commencement of peace. Grounded in the belief that women had a responsibility to craft our societies at the political level, she issued a Mother’s Day Proclamation and called upon a “general congress of women without limit of nationality” to come together and actively campaign for peace as a reaction to the carnage of that war.
That’s a radical thought today. Can you imagine demanding the end of war and the beginning of peace? What about her call to all women to come together and heal the world? It has been more than 100 years since she issued that call. Is this the “impossible dream” or an achievable one?
But let’s move beyond the institutional to the personal. Depending upon how you experienced your Mother, this can be a tough or tender holiday. The fortunate are at peace with their Mothers. Some are emotionally estranged from their Mothers. Others long for the embrace of the Mother who rests in the bosom of eternity, while others still never knew her at all. How can the disturbed be comforted? How can the comfortable comfort the disturbed?
How will you celebrate Mother’s Day? How should we celebrate Mother’s Day?
Please let me know…
However you celebrate this blessed holiday, I pray you will be surrounded by love, whatever your thoughts and memories of your Mother may be…
God bless you.
Love and blessings,
Santita a.k.a. Mrs. Jacqueline Jackson’s Daughter