Taking Mama Down the Road
gofundme asked "tell your story”.
this campaign is related to the most recent chapter of “my Mother's incredible life story.” a quick explanation, really, for the purpose of raising funds for the womxn who brought the world to me.
my Mother, Patsy Lois Fontenot-Mose-Fletcher, has been afflicted with the ever wicked "C". we don't use the word in our house cause it gives it too much power. so, we call it, “the gift,” which in some languages also translates to “poison.”
i’m raising money for a couple of reasons:
1. to help pay for her escape from DC to New Orleans.
2. to help pay for her pending medical bills.
first, I rented an RV, so that we could hit the road, bring her to my Brother and his Little Family, my (soon to be) 3 year old niece, and my (soon to be) 1 year old nephew. per her request, my Mother wanted to leave her home of 20 + years, the confines of at home hospice, to come to the state where her life began. she has been insisting she wanted out of DC, whispered it even, to my Aunt Pam, her baby sister, like a secret held between siblings, that she “wanted to run," to be closer to living relatives, the herstory of our people, the land they worked, and the ground where they have been laid to rest.
since our portion of the family has always favored traveling (seattle atlanta, juneau, little rock, DC; we've lived in more states than is normal for non-enlisted families), it's befitting that we should take to the old highway, and radically change destinations at her bidding.
i’m pulling together funds to help pay for this "trip" that could not really wait for monies to have been collected, since time is not on our side.
i enlisted the loving help of my Father, Nyika, who came up from Fort Lauderdale, to do the driving. you see, despite the fact my parents have been divorced for some time now, we are always for family, first and foremost!!!
and, last, to put a dent in the health care bill that will be looming over our heads.
you see, like many of us, my Mother took a chance. she left her "good job", the security of a governmental position, helping folk who sought help from the Equal Employment Office, then the Human Rights Commission, for an opportunity to pursue her dream of chasing history.
my Mother is a historian.
she is a contract worker who has a cubical that the Office of National Historic Preservation has carved out for her to do research, to investigate, to fact find, to interview, to gather and record the histories of Black folks, in an attempt to acknowledge, pay homage, to recognize people, communities, architects, shakers and move makers, and their structures, places, life styles, their existence and contributions to the development of this country we call America!
to take this chance, to be self-employed, means to be at the mercy of our fine healthcare system. raising funds for those of us who choose to be self-employed, contracted workers, in her case, who become poisoned by serious health illnesses, can exacerbate what assets you may have acquired.
this healthcare system we are forced to contend with, offers little reward to those who actually go out and make a path for themselves, solely based on their hearts passion - dancers, writers, painters, creators, and musicians know exactly what i mean - those of us who are not tied to major companies, governmental safety salaries, academic paychecks, part of the 1%, or coming from any other country where quality universal healthcare is a right.
let me be clear, though. my Mother would neither feel comfortable with this desperate action, nor does she know i am doing what i am doing.
we are a proud people, and many of our strongest womxn have just enough vanity that it's tough for others to care for them, especially when they are afflicted with insecure dis-ease. cause they certainly don't want anyone to see them weak.
however, too many times we have read the stories of powerful womxn who have forged paths for themselves and others, only to transition with meager abundance or acknowledgment which would do justice to the contributions they invested their energies. womxn who had to be found by historians, who had stories that were almost forgotten, womxn who made a way so that others could have it just that much easier…..
womxn who had stories my Mother sought to uncover, record, elevate and honor.
what my Mother did say, she felt a deep sorrow for the fact that she didn't get to publish more books on the histories she found most fascinating.
yes, my Mother recently became a published author. her book,
"Historically African American Leisure Destinations Around Washington, D.C"
(by Patsy Mose Fletcher, The History Press; 2015)
discusses the historical establishment or existence of "leisure parks" and "fun spaces" for Black folks. amusement parks, beach front properties, pools, clubs, you name it, my Mother is familiar with the history of "that time when we used to have a" .... type-o’-spaces for Black folks. those times of "the great desegregation," which she often dubs "the initiation policy of the demise of Black cultural wealth and advancement," before we came to rely upon our oppressors to do for us.” she is a historian of that generation who went to our own dentists, doctors, schools, universities, institutions cause that's just what Black folks had to do, cause we were "Negroes," when we were "Colored," when we were left to fend for each other, before we had to use our buying power to prove ourselves an economical threat to this nation, shutting down capital gains, just to earn recognition for our humanity, as the majority of us felt were disproportionately afforded others; when we were really responsible for providing the abundance of life sustaining services within the Black community.
i also have copies of her books on hand!
for those who would like to receive a powerful piece of historical work, to learn about how this specific group of Americans, whose foremothers and fathers broke their backs to build this country, with their enslaved blood, were able to find solace in spaces designated for negro laughter and joy,
with donations of $100 or more, we will gratefully ship a copy of my Mother's published findings!
you can also find some information on her fakebook page:
and, going straight to a source to find copies of her book, helps just as well:
i would like to thank those of you who are willing to participate in advance. for it goes without saying, how important her life is to my Family!
Peace and Love, Om and the rest of the Mose-Fontenot-Fletcher Family!