Black Queens are born in the ghetto. Yea, my mother participated in illegal acts to provide. She sold dope, probably weed, dreams and anything else you could buy—she was a pusher and a single mother who provided by any means. While I can't provide you with the logistics, my mind won't let me forget the time a base head came to our backdoor after midnight tweaking for it. She checked him, then served him.
"Fuck is you doing banging on my door at three in the morning! You must be out your rabid ass mind, this where me and my kids lay our heads!" My mother said hemming him up.
This little man had to be thin as wind and hanging onto life as he pleaded with his eyes, “Look, I didn't know it was this late, I just need it.”
She gave “it” to him and warned him. Then turned around and made eye contact with me as if she knew my eyes had seen something they shouldn't. Behind me was her live-in boyfriend at the time. He had a pistol and was infuriated at the fact a crackhead knew where she lived and had access to her. He wasn't the most handsome guy, but he stayed dressed to the nines and carried himself like a gentleman. Something rare in our neck of the woods.
"Denice, that’s a motherfucking shame, crackheads coming to your damn house where your kids lay at. I was liable to pop his ass.” He said tightening his jawbone pacing back and forth.
She knew he was right and shame appeared on her face. Nevertheless, she understood the good and ugly of the game.
Number 5: Never sell no crack where you rest at.
I don’t care if they want an ounce, tell ‘em “bounce!”
~B.I.G. 10 Crack Commandments
1980's during the Ronald Reagan / Crack epidemic my mother got the short end of the stick whereas my father became "The Man" becoming a multi-millionaire, secretly a Frank Lucas of St. Louis. Truth is even though she hustle, the fast money and high became an addiction-she got high off her own supply. I slowly watched "Sexy D" AKA moms deteriorate by loosing her teeth, hair, getting cirrhosis of the liver and suffer silently with mental illness. However, despite her vices she always exuded a love supreme with grace and style. This is my redemption song similar to Afeni Shakur son because there were more good days than bad days.
And even as a crack fiend, Mama
You always was a black queen, Mama
I finally understand
For a woman it ain't easy tryin' to raise a man
You always was committed
A poor single mother on welfare, tell me how you did it
There's no way I can pay you back, but the plan
Is to show you that I understand: you are appreciated
~Tupac Shakur Dear Mama
That's right her addiction and illness didn't define her divine essence. I reflect with admiration of her coca butter kisses, heart to heart talks, and undeniable grace. Happy days were on Ashland when she would skate in the middle of the street with padded blouses in her own world, as a crowd of people would watch in a trance "because to be that beautiful and free is like spotting "a unicorn," truly magical. I honor my late mother with every breath of life, by spreading love like her Anita Baker Lullabies, and most importantly I take pride in being a great mother. I know she is with me, and proud of the woman I've become for Malik and Mark Junior.
Every mother leaves her footprints- African Proverb