Episode 95: Black History Part 2

The Valley of Grace Podcast
The Valley of Grace Podcast
Episode 95: Black History Part 2

Today’s episode, Black History Part 2, takes you back and forth through a history of racism, spirituality, and how they all stretch back to the cross. In case you missed Part 1, you can catch that one here.

black history, black author, black literature, down South, Memphis, Lorraine Motel, Dr. King, marching, freedom, whites, blacks, emotional health, PTSD, whites only, blacks only, podcaster, podcasting
Episode 95: Black History Part 2

Black History Part 2 -Poetry Readings

  • You’re Black
  • Black Folk Don’t do Therapy
  • Cry
  • Empathy, Empathy
  • I Am the Vine, and so is it Time?
  • Hairy Sandwiches
  • He Speaks
  • Black Beauty Supply Store
  • And Many More

Furthermore, I have heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians are enslaving, and I have remembered My covenant. 6Therefore tell the Israelites: ‘I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians and deliver you from their bondage. I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. 7I will take you as My own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians.…

Exodus 6: 5-7

At Valley of Grace, we believe in thriving. In order to thrive, we have to begin grounding ourselves in our identity. The first step in making this happen, is dealing with the effects of our childhood wounds. Click here to get started in Online Therapy today.****This is an amazon affiliate link where a commission is paid to offsite the cost of providing this information to you.

Podcast Transcription

Speaker 0    00:00:05    We dissect problems and solutions that exist among broken people, living in a broken world. We believe that talking through our stories is the path that leads to walking through our healing. On episode 94, we had black history part one. And I shared with you guys a reading from a republished book that I did, I had written it five years ago, as I explained in episode 94. But just to kind of give a quick recap, I self-published my memoir, The Journey in 2016.

And so, in a couple more weeks, it’s going to be the five-year anniversary.  I revamped the whole entire book and did some of the reading on episode 94.  So, if you miss that one, you might want to stop this episode and go back and listen to it. 

Speaker 0    00:01:16    I am going to do several readings of poetry today.  Some of the readings will come from either one of three books that I’ve written. The first one is called My Blackness. The next book is called Surrendered. The third book is called Simply Grace. And then for the other poems, I have not given a title to that particular book yet.  

And I am hoping and praying that you find something in the poetry that is like a balm to your soul. Something that resonates with you, might be a come to Jesus moment. It might just be something that you’d need to have to get you through the rest of this week. So, without further ado, here are the poetry readings. 

Speaker 0    00:03:33    The first poem that I am going to refer to you is entitled beauty supply store. I love going to the beauty supply store, looking at all the possibilities for my hair, looking at the limited amount of money in my pocket and trying to figure out how to stretch it like Madea does when she sends us to the meat market. I love looking at the scarfs and the grease and the hair oil and the straightening combs and curling irons.

And let’s not forget the blow dryers and the plastic caps for hot oil treatments and keeping the condition in longer so we can get the kinkiness out. I love looking at the jewelry, trying to find the right pair of earrings, ones that express me, my personality, my blackness, my uniqueness. 

Speaker 0    00:04:32    The next poem that I am going to read to you is entitled hair products. Where’s the blue magic? right here. I got coconut blue, green. Which one you need? I’m not sure yet, but maybe I’ll try Ultra Sheen, right here. I got green or blue. Which one do you need? Not sure yet. Okay. Where’s the let’s jam? Right here. Don’t want too much flakiness on my head. Just what products will I choose for my hair? Not sure yet. Just not there.  Too many to choose from. This is what happens when you enter the beauty supply store for the black person’s hair. 

Speaker 0    00:05:32    The next poem that I would like to read to you is entitled prayers. Saying those prayers at night, as my mom tucks me in so tight, rubbing my back, singing those songs, saying those prayers, you know, the ones that start,” Now I lay me”, those prayers. Yes.

And those prayers, the ones that your mom taught you as a baby in her womb, when it became unknown, your life’s paths would have to resurrect itself from the soul, denied betrayal. Our ancestors and forefathers fought hard to bring them. Saying those prayers at night, as my mom tucks me in so tight. The last one that I’m going to read is actually a quick short story and is called Hairy sandwiches.

Speaker 0    00:06:48    When you are growing up black, you know, there are certain things that call for good times, relatives visiting in the North from down-South and vice versa. Having a community that centers on food, dancing and pressing hair as a kid. When my relatives from down-South visited us in Chicago, you could be sure there was going to be a good time had by all. 

My mom and my aunts would tell jokes and talk about old times like it was yesterday. I never grew tired of hearing the same old stories.  My cousin Fifi came to Chicago and stayed with my grandmother for three days.  At the end of her visit, we decided that we would ride back to Memphis with her. Not only would we get a chance to visit with her while she was here, but she was going to press my hair at Madea’s Beauty Shop beforehand, before heading back to Memphis. 

Speaker 0    00:07:45    And I had to admit Fifi pressed hair just as good as Madea.  Before leaving Chicago, I got my hair done. It was nice and slick on my head and I was ready.  Why I had her to go through all this trouble, knowing that my hair was going to draw back as soon as I hit the Memphis sun, I don’t know.  Fefe decided she would make what the black folks called the best thing ever, fried bologna and cheese sandwiches. The secret in making these sandwiches was making sure that they were only slightly burnt. That way you knew they would be perfect.  

She prepared the sandwiches, chips, cookies, and drinks, and we all piled inside of the car. After a few hours of traveling, the kids were dying of hunger. One of the adults mentioned something about grabbing a sandwich out of the bag. I grabbed one sandwich out of the foil and took a bite.  The sandwich tasted so good, but something did not feel right on my tongue. The texture of whatever I was tasting was not that of bologna, bread, or condiments. I tried to ignore it, but my gut told me that something was wrong. I opened my mouth and then pulled it out a small ball of hair with a string coming out of it. 

Speaker 0    00:09:24    Do I tell them? And also, do I keep it to myself? That was the question of the day. I decided I would not say anything at all. It was just one sandwich. I opened the bag again, partially opening the foil for each of the other sandwiches. They all had small balls of hair in them as well. Cookies, chips, and drinks sounded more appetizing. It was a long hungry ride to Memphis.  To this day, I don’t remember if I ever told anyone in the car about the sandwiches, or if they found out on their own.  The moral of this story is to never prepare food in the same location of Madea’s beauty shop.  It could be a hairy experience for all.

Speaker 0    00:10:22    He speaks is the title of this poem: He speaks but where will it be? In a message in a song, or the birds in the tree? Will it be in the midst of the wind blowing at night? Will it be in the calmness of the cricket singing in flight? In the morning when the rabbit is talking to squirrels or the munks tunneling through grass and the Robins dancing a twirl? Will it be in the waves that are splashing on the beach or the smiles of the saints as they’re waving hi, to me?

Will it be in the sun that is setting in the sky or the swans overhead that are reaching by and by? When he speaks, Will I hear him, same voice as before, or will it be with great trumpet, all of that, And even more? The next poem is entitled recovery. It’s recovery it’s recovery. It requires lots of discovery. What I think. what I feel, what my body tells me is real. Though it’s hard it’s recovery. God is there. In this discovery.

Speaker 0    00:12:01    And the last form from this book that I’m going to read is entitled reunion. hey left me for dead, But sold me instead. Endured being in chains, As favor surely reigned. Became second in command, Till the wife wanted my hand. In charge of the prison.

NO Release.

Just indecision. Till the king  had his dream. God revealed  all the means. Gave God  all the credit. My life story  had an edit.

Then my brothers  showed up in hunger. Couldn’t take it  any longer.

Told all the servants  To leave the room.

As I cried out 

Deeply Woven in mounds of gloom. Hugged them deep  and cried out long. Filled our souls  and showed up strong. The reunion wasn’t expected. But God’s grace had it protected.

Speaker 0    00:13:06    Okay? The next series of poems I’m going to read is from a book that is entitled Simply Grace. I am the vine and so, is it time? The deep wet dirt of the earth pulls me in as my little coral bells are just dancing in the wind. Then the dear clematis vine He shouts loud with his trumpet from the East to the West. You don’t miss his triumphant. I am the vine. You are the branches just trust in me. I’ll take you through the trenches, parts of my vine is tied to the trellis. And then part of me sits on the earth where this mess is.  Then the dear clematis vine, He shouts loud with his trumpet from the East to the West. You don’t miss his triumphant. I am the vine. You are the branches just trust in me. 

Speaker 0    00:14:11    I’ll take you through the trenches. Then the husbandman gives orders to the dear clematis vine. It’s just not the hour yet.  It’s just not the time.   I wrap around, the heucheras, the heucheras the color of wine.  And I pray in the garden till beads of sweat So intertwined.  Then the husbandman calls out it is time for the trellis. I will send out relief through a comforter where this mess is.  Then the dear clematis vine, he shouts loud with his trumpet, from the East to the West, you don’t miss his triumphant.  I am the vine. You are the branches. Just trust in me.  I’ll take you through the trenches. 

Speaker 0    00:15:02    My next poem deals with identity. And sometimes even when we think we’ve got it down pat, the devil will come and run amuck on us and have us question everything all over again. And that’s when we have to speak words of life over our souls to get ourselves grounded. So the name of this poem is entitled. Who am I?

Who am I? I am a child of the King. Did you see his right hand? My name is printed with a ring. Who am I? Who am I? I am a princess and a daughter, drafted in Royal priesthood in his image and his order.  Who am I? Who am I? I am promised that I’m his, he’s my maker and my husband. He’s my counselor and my friend. 

Speaker 0    00:16:02    The next poem that I’m going to read is called cries of the heart. I cried. I cried from all of this trauma. Oh my dear Lord. Did I need any more drama? Oh my dear child, please come close. Just draw near. Let me whisper a little something in those precious little ears. I have plans for you. Plans to prosper, not to harm, meditate on my word, and you’ll never be alarmed, for this Trauma is a Thorn, a thorn in your flesh, but it’s also a gift that will put you to the test.  The things that I show you are great things from above, not vanity or conceit, they are given to you with love. And the last poem I’m going to read from this book is entitled empathy. Yeah. 

Speaker 0    00:17:05    It’s not the same as sympathy. I understand just what you’re feeling. Not sorry for. It’s not the willing.   I sit with you. You sit with me. It’s empathy, now, Can’t you see? Oh yes. I feel just what you feel.  It is not a matter of the will. I will not rush your pain at all.  In life, We all must feel the fall. I laughed with you. You laugh with me. We cry and cry till tears run free.  Empathy, empathy.  It’s not the same as sympathy.

Okay? So the last group of poems that I’m going to read, are not in any book yet. 

You’re black

You’re black

Your dignity

And integrity,


Not kept in tact.


you see

Your skin


all those things

And all we see is lack.

I’m not complaining.

‘Motionally draining,

And with my service

I give back.

So, wash, and rinse,

And dry again.

And just absorb

Those facts.

My Hair is Nappy

My hair is nappy and kinky

Don’t you see the bees

In the back

I don’t look pretty

Look crazy and silly

Matter fact, these

‘tails look whack

Your hair is beauty

It’s my creation

Your hair, the glory

Part of me.

You queen from Africa

Queen from Sonship

Queen from My Identity.

Speaker 0    00:20:34    The next poem is entitled Get up here

Wash those dishes

We better hurry

‘fore Madea

Come down

And blast us

With those switches

Add the water

Then the soap

Then pour plenty

Of that bleach

Till the smell reaches

Our lungs,

Becomes more like a leech.

 So that was get up here. There’s a lot of stigma in the black community around emotions. A lot of it has come from post-traumatic stress syndrome and post traumatic slave syndrome.



Just cry

Just let it all out

You see crying is a luxury

From when slavery came about

Hold it in

Just suppress

Don’t you say a mumblin’


To your wife

Or your kids

As we gather them like herds.

Black folk don’t do therapy.

Black folk don’t do therapy.

We pray and we cry.

Yep, we cry in private.

But in public our tears run dry.

Black folk don’t do therapy.

We’re strong as a people.

We just slay in the Spirit.

Till our Prayers hit the steeple.

Black folk don’t do therapy.

We just hope and we pray.

That our unhealed


Will up and leave us some day.

Black folk don’t do therapy.

‘Cause we think it’s a sin

If we bring down from


Generations had to win.

Black folk must do therapy.

‘Cause then we can negate

Ev’ry game that’s been


‘Gainst the enemy

Called hate.

Black folk must do therapy.

Till we break all devices

That’s been sown

Into seeds.

Then planted

With preciseness.

Black folk must do therapy.

So our kids

Will one day see

That our growth,

Faith, and healing

Was a bicycle

Made For me.

Speaker 0    00:24:01    I want to thank you for being faithful listeners each and every week. And I also want to ask you to follow us on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or Youtube, if we are making a difference in your life. And then I want to give a shout out to Timothy Horton for bringing us our intro and outro music each week.  Until Next Time.

Music plays.