Black (Female) History Month – Who Is This Woman

smartselectimage_2016-08-08-01-20-11.pngUnlike Josephine Baker, she did not s survive the 1917 riots in East St. Louis, Illinois, and ran away a few years later at age thirteen and began dancing in vaudeville and on Broadway. Alternatively, in 1925, she did not go to Paris where, after the jazz revue La Revue Nègre failed, her comic ability and jazz dancing drew the attention of the director of the Folies Bergère to later became one of the best-known entertainers in both France and much of Europe.

She didn’t grow up in a shotgun home shared by 13 people, and her voice doesn’t captivate audiences and move people to want salvation like Mahalia Jackson.  No at age 12 her voice wasn’t heard all the way to end of the block.

Her passion was not promoting injustice as a radical black activist and philosopher.  She was arrested as a conspirator attempting to free George Jackson.  She never maintained an arsenal of registered guns, she did always have a blue box of Argo starch in the cabinet by the door in the kitchen.  She would not have run for the Communist Party VP seat.  She didn’t use her voice in place people would only speak about in the comfort of their dining rooms.  That was not her story.

Her wall was not filled with books and famous artists.  Intellectuals didn’t meet regularly at her home where Anderson, Nash, and Bennett urged Charles Johnson to organize, that W.E.B. DuBois, Jean Toomer, Countee Cullin, Langston Hughes, James Weldon Johnson, and others essentially began the movement called the Harlem Renaissance with readings and speeches. No that was not here story, but she had keen ability to read you your rights if she felt moved to do so.

You won’t find her name among Mrs. D. J. Dupuy, Ms. Georgia M. Johnson, Mrs. H. W. Johnson and others who ran branches of the NAACP during World War II.

She was a mother of 3, a grandmother, someone’s daughter, aunt, sister and a wife to the illustrious Robert Hughes Williamson.  She was always present, she was not the owner of Castle, but her home was her castle filled with everything needed to manage a home worthy of its definition.  Trials and tribulation were not uncommon, and neither was perseverance.  She was not wealthy by most standards, but her children had the best and not one day in 54 years did they ever go hungry, without shelter, without scolding, without love. Punishments varied from the inability to use to phone to the driving the car.  If you looking for “Susie Homemaker” you in the wrong story if you’re looking to have your faults minimized you’re on the wrong LifeTime channel.  If you looking for someone to pick you every time you fell you are so far from the River of Denial.  If you want to have lived a life that echoes “get up and move on”, “find a way to make it work”.  If you’re looking warm and fuzzy – you’ll find it in the Cheeseburger Pie.  Watch her face as she makes it, listen as she talks about it, watch her as she slices it and delivers it to those around her…there you will find all the love you need.  Who’s is this woman she’s my mother Nettie Williamson – Happy Valentines Day.

Sources: Sartain, Lee. Invisible Activists: Women of the Louisiana NAACP and the Struggle for Civil Rights, 1915–1945 (1). Baton Rouge, US: LSU Press, 2007. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 14 February 2017.

Copyright © 2007. LSU Press. All rights reserved.

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