I don't know if you know this or not but I'm a bit of an architect. I've built and designed several houses and buildings, and if I wasn't in this business I would surely be an engineer/architect. I love designing and building, it's been in my blood since I was a kid.
I'm building a house now in California and I had to put these huge concrete pillars in the ground to hold it together in the event of an earthquake. So, needless to say, it had to be strong, and of course the larger the building, the stronger it must be. Being a bit of an engineer, and considering stress loads and weight, I started thinking about how strong things have to be to hold structures up. For instance, I've seen the concrete that it took to build the foundation for an 80-story building, and it had to be strong. I've seen a train; one engine, pulling 87 cars along a track, and it had to be strong! I've seen the steel and composite materials that are put on planes so they can fly through the air and, it has to be strong.
And as strong as all of those things are, none of them compare to the strength of a black woman. I'm in New Orleans now visiting my mother who has had a life filled with a lot of pain - one thing after the other. I get a lump in my throat when I think about her life, but what I know of her is that I have never seen her complain, or in despair. She always pushes through. There is a line in DIARY OF A MAD BLACK WOMAN where Cicely Tyson says to Helen, (Kimberly Elise's character), "You've got the strength God gave us women to survive". And that strength is special, all women have it. But I think God gave black women a little extra. I can't explain it. It's the kind of strength that, if you could mix it up and put it in a bottle it could spin the earth.
As I left my mother, she smiled at me, in pain, confused and all, and she said "You know your mamma loves you." I said "You know your baby loves you." I left her, in tears, but hopeful. As I was headed back to the plane, someone asked me how my mother was, and I said she's very strong. And they said to me, just like you. I thought about that for a second. And it hit me, I know a lot of people now who are trust fund babies, heirs to corporations, given millions by their families, diamonds and furs, and so on. My mother didn't have any of that to give to me, but she gave me ALL she had - she gave me her God, and that is the source of her strength...
What are you giving to your kids? I write this and dedicate it to Maxine, my mother, and ask that you would pray for her, she's doing a lot better.