Marcus Garvey (1887-1940) was and still is a prolific figure in our history. He left us a great legacy of Black nationalism and Pan-Africanism that is still being spoken about and debated to this day. Among the many endeavors he embarked on his writing and oratory resonates as brightly today as it did years ago when it was first written or spoken. This poem is one that sums up to me what a mother is, what a woman is. I dedicate this to all women, because all women ultimately are mothers. Not necessarily to children they bore but, to all the people they nurture, inspire, support, and love everyday.
The Black Mother
Where can I find love that never changes
Smiles that are true and always just the same,
Caring not how the fierce tempest rages,
Willing ever to shield my honored name?
This I find at home, only with Mother,
Who cares for me with patient tenderness;
She from every human pain would rather
Save me, and drink the dregs of bitterness.
If on life’s way I happen to flounder,
My true thoughts should be of Mother dear,
She is the rock that ne’er rifts asunder,
The cry of her child, be it far or near.
This is love wonderful beyond compare;
It is God’s choicest gift to mortal man;
You, who know Mother, in this thought must share,
For, she, of all, is Angel of your Clan.
My Mother is black, loveliest of all;
Yes, she is as pure as the new made morn;
Her song of glee is a clear rythmic call
To these arms of love to which I was born.
I shall never forget you, sweet Mother,
Where’er in life I may happen to roam;
Thou shalt always be the Fairy Charmer
To turn my dearest thoughts to things at home.