In the USA March is Women’s History Month. Borrowing a phrase I heard used I Declare and Decree this Black HerStory Month. Twenty-Eight or in the case of this year 29 days is not enough to celebrate the achievements of African Americans nor do we often hear about the accomplishments or even acknowledge Black Women so I Proclaim March Black HerStory Month.
First Honors and Praises to the Our Black Family Matriarchs. Our Queens! From what I’ve been told I am very Blessed and Fortunate to have family photos from my Dad’s side dating back to the 19th century. My Paternal Grandmother Eva Sophronia Gordon Palmer kept meticulous records recording the name of each ancestor on the back of the photos. The one Woman ancestor photo that does not have a name is a tintype and at some point the name either fell off or became detached.
I have only a few photos of my Maternal Women ancestors as my mother’s family did not have the money to either purchase cameras or pay to have their photos professionally taken. All have now gone onto to Glory and passed into eternity but even the 19th Century Queens who I did not get a chance to meet in person I carry not only their DNA but their strength, faith and fortitude to preserve in and over all circumstances. Ancestral Memories flow through my veins.
Epoch Heydays beat rhythm time Tempo bringing Glory Days and Golden Age into Earth, Space, time Continuum alignment around my being. Spiritual Discernment begins the convergence of planets, Moon-Womben Star-gazers endlessly birthing heavenly bodies and floating orbs.
Mother Africa as Creator Goddess singing Reign Blessings upon her children.
My World, the ones I saw in my Grandmother’s Quilt and the ever expanding Galaxies beyond Earth, Sky, Sun and Moon-Daughter Wishes, Hopes and Desires.
Ancient hand stretching finger Ancestor Dimensions reaching forward into time and eternity bringing revelation knowledge of history long past yet made fresh daily.
Troubles beating bloody fists upon my pate.
Belladonna into Nightshades.
Tethered by an unholy umbilical cord to a dead albatross. Dreams deluge. Green metal Frigidaire Fan blowing air opposite it’s promised heat relief. Stub toe late shift Dad curses Castro and his Convertible. Bucolic heat wave summer in the city. 25 cent Ice Cream salvation dispensed by Mr. Softee. Martha Reeves and her Vandellas gyrating to Dancing in the Streets while kids follow her Piped Pipers.
Kool-Aid libation sugar screams ensue while transistor talking heads Ralph Kiner and Lindsey Nelson called Shea play by plays. Bygone days of Tri-Corn braids. Fletcher’s Castoria Beef Iron Wine cocktails. Childhood freedom beckons signalling release from adulthood chain gangs. Teeter-totter bring unbalanced superimposed idealized memories to double-doubted times past. It’s 1964 and my Dixie Peach anointed head snuggles with Panda pillow transcending time once again in the loving arms of Grandma Eva’s patchwork quilt.
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. – Hamlet (1.5.166-7), Hamlet to Horatio
2 Corinthians 12:3-4
New International Version (NIV)
3 And I know that this man—whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, but God knows— 4 was caught up to paradise and heard inexpressible things, things that no one is permitted to tell.
Lately I’ve been having some very odd spiritual experiences. They are akin to the TV program Quantum Leap where the guy leaps into another person’s body or even more personal like the protagonist in the Octavia Butler novel, Kindred. Mine is not quite that spectacular but it began last year with my mother’s spirit speaking through me to create a memoir for her. Even though my Mom has been deceased since 1998 it was like she and I were one flesh. The stimulus was a rather unpleasant family disagreement but that one trigger melded our spirits and I began to feel the emotions she had over 50 years ago concerning my Brother Stephen’s developmental disability. All the hurt, pain, sadness, anguish and depression she felt when she was unjustly accused of causing her beloved son’s autism surfaced within my spirit.
I just began to write and write over the course of the last 7 or 8 months. Then after finding out some interesting family history concerning my maternal grandmother again I began to experience her emotions. Then a few days ago when I was posted in the Civil War Photography exhibit at my museum, once more an ancestor’s thoughts and emotions came to me. My Great, Great Grandfather William Henry Halstead fought in the Civil War. There was a steady stream of visitors but everyone was quiet, calm, serious, deeply affected by what they were seeing. During the course of the day as I walked through the photographs taking everything in it was like I began to see through the eyes of my Great, Great Grandfather. I could hear the sounds of battle, the screams of pain from injured soldiers, feel his adrenaline as he surged forth with his 29th CT. Colored Regiment brothers. All I can say it was like I was in his head. I had to make an effort to turn off so I could finish my day without freaking out. Even now I feel he is still with me even though I never met him. Maybe this is genetic memory. All the memories of our ancestors stay with us though we are separated by time but not necessarily by eternity. As a writer it gives a different aspect and flavor to my writing but it is a very strange sensation and I don’t know what to make of this new development.
It happened last year as I was making a Family Photo collage for the Employee Art Show. It was as though family members long deceased most whom I never got the chance to meet were telling me where to place all the photos within the collage. Very strange.
I’m beginning to wonder if I’m some type of an Empath like on Star Trek.
Empaths have the ability to scan another’s psyche for thoughts and feelings or for past, present, and future life occurrences. Many empaths are unaware of how this actually works, and have long accepted that they were sensitive to others.
I posed my questions to the FB Black Ancestry page and received several intuitive responses.
“I’ve been chosen as a Portal by my family members who have passed on.
Some inanimate objects do have an impressed energy and will release to an open mind/spirit. Some good, some negative. In your case, the familiar of family to present themselves to you to share an understanding of who they were to help others in their journeys here.”
While in the Egyptian Wing of the museum I also felt a spiritual connection to this woman perhaps Queen Tiye whose face graces a canopic jar.
The Battle scene I heard while in the Civil War Photography exhibit as described by one of my Great, Great Grandfathers fellow soldiers. http://conn29th.org/stories.htm
Maybe my Great, great grandfather is trying to connect with me. Sometimes I wonder why he speaks to me. Also I never had experiences of this magnitude when I was younger. I did have visions between the ages of 4 and 5 but I never told my parents for fear they would think I was nuts. These visions began again after I turned 50. I’m 54 now. An odd age for the portal to reopen. Now I know why he waited nearly 150 years not just for me to make an appearance on this earth but he waited for “The One”. The Anointed One who would be able to tell the stories of the ancestors and who could make Spiritual Consolation so their souls could be at rest.
In December of 1863 my Great Great Grandfather, William Henry Halstead, who lived in Tarrytown, New York, traveled to New Haven, Connecticut to join the 29th Connecticut Colored Infantry. On his Volunteer Enlistment papers it notes his occupation as a farmer. He enlisted for three years and was discharged on the 24th day of October 1865. He married and had five children. William Henry Halstead passed away in 1888 and was buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Tarrytown, New York. His wife moved to New York City with her five children. Her children grew up in Harlem and belonged to various organizations such as Odd Fellows, Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic and the Daughters of New York.
Sp4 Palmer, 569th PSC & 101st Airborne Division.
I’m glad my spirit is open and that some family members have decided to reconnect through the veil of life and death to communicate with me. I would say that they don’t want to be forgotten by current and future generations. I am Chosen to tell their stories.
The Younger Women are my Sisters and my Daughters. The barriers of race, religion, ethnicity, all fall before the face of Love. The Veil has been lifted and we all Rise as one. Daughters and Sisters My Purpose is to uplift you. Truly My Heart belongs and stands with the Sisters of Zion. The daughters of Tamar shall be desolate no longer. A Mother over Israel has come to Redeem them back to the fold. Under Her Wings she shall find peace and rest for her weary soul. For I hear the Great Archangel Gabrielle blowing her trumpet calling forth the exiled women summoning them back to Eden.
because more are the children of the desolate woman
than of her who has a husband,”
says the Lord.
2 “Enlarge the place of your tent,
stretch your tent curtains wide,
do not hold back;
lengthen your cords,
strengthen your stakes.
3 For you will spread out to the right and to the left;
your descendants will dispossess nations
and settle in their desolate cities.
New King James Version (NKJV)
4 Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, was judging Israel at that time.5 And she would sit under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the mountains of Ephraim. And the children of Israel came up to her for judgment.
New King James Version (NKJV)
7 Village life ceased, it ceased in Israel,
Until I, Deborah, arose,
Arose a mother in Israel.
My father’s family has attempted to demonize my mother but though she was a woman troubled by the many demons schizophrenia forces into residence inside your head she loved us more than she loved herself.
Despite some of the trauma I went through as a child over all I had a good childhood. Funny how when you get older you put things in perspective plus some of the illnesses your parents have visited your doorstep.
Mable Elizabeth Palmer — DeBorah Ann Palmer
How do you quash a lie that seems to gain new life and resurrect with every generation? The Past, we often seek to bury it but only succeed in hiding it but like the undead its gnarled dirt encrusted six fingered rips off the death shroud, tears off the lid of the casket and pushes through layers of earth to reveal itself.
Out of the smiling photos of the 50s and 60s I’m a mini-me of my Dad with his full toothy grin and that twinkle in his eye always reading to play a practical joke or mimic the scary monster from Chiller Theater but I’m internally composed of my mother’s keen powers of observation and dry humor that served her well in dealing with challenging situations.
Betrayed by the playmates of my youth Condemned to an endless purgatory search for love, acceptance & belonging.
Wandering A Wasteland Of sorrow and disappointments, seeking and desiring a bond that never truly existed.
We who have been cast out from the tribe abandoned only to know longing but never fulfillment. Trapped by lies and falsehoods that should have long been discarded. Caught in an emotional web of deceit hoping for escape, a kind of salvation, a type of redemption. Oh where is my savior who will rescue and mend my broken soul. Locks shorn, sitting in sackcloth and ashes I await the delivering Angel of Death.
My Mom passed away in August 1998 but with all the 2012 drama I’ve felt closer to her than ever before. I believe she is speaking through me charging me to tell her story. Her spirit and mine are one flesh, our souls are reconciled one to another, the veil of death lifted for a time such as this. The small town girl born in Davy, WV, raised in Jim Crow, Dayton, Ohio who marries the big city boy (my Dad Edward Palmer) from Harlem, USA. The battle began when a small town country girl vs the sophistication of the Harlem Niggrati or what we now call Ghetto Fabulous. She was the cornerstone rejected and misunderstood by her husband’s family.
Way back then they was not knowing that cells have genetic memory. The in-laws tried to make the simple girl from Dayton, Ohio into a pariah after the birth of their disabled son but the reality of the discourse was not to be. I’m here to cease the motion of 15 years of lies, fable, tall tales and innuendos. I exist to give validation to the voice that was never heard. The child Stephen fertilized with essence seed from without the boundaries had come to save us. His is the seed of many generations back, the DNA that coalesces make believes with reality. His earthly soul is subject to the confines of this life’s limitations but Stephen’s spirit soars with the Angels whose quest is to serve the Lord.
Mable was held in a panorama spun by coveted lovers, who were harlots through celibacy making death a closer journey to Heaven.
With this confession my Mother’s Soul residing within me is at rest. She rages no more, her anguish has been extinguished.
My mother and I share broken lives, shattered in similar places we cut ourselves on shards of pain, our fractured lives seeking to mend.
Now I attempt to retrieve the scattered pieces, seeking to restore the jigsaw puzzle of Isis, long in disarray, bent and twisted from misuse, abuse and false accusations. Fraying the edges making impossible even imperfect fits.
Sitting across from her flesh & blood ghost, linking hands we grant each other absolution long sought from others outside our circle but only possible for us, from us.
In retrospect I have become her, a woman of strength, fortitude, courage, virtue and character; strong willed and loyal to a point.
My mother taught us basic human decency, a trait sorely lacking in many children and adults.
After I graduated from college at age 43, actually even before that I battled depression. I’ve been hooked on all types of anti-depressants, pain killers and have an off and on dalliance with drink. By the way doctors and therapists knowingly make drug addicts out of their patients. I stopped taking all my anti-depressant medicines in 2007. As you know medical science has since proved those medications turn you into a zombie and cause depression/suicidal thoughts. I’d rather be depressed and a functioning human being than a suicidal zombie.
Now I not only understand but know what my mother felt. Even though my Mom had been gone for years I’m closer to her than ever before, because I’m more like her. In a way I am her and me at the same time.
In the ensuing years since that incident I too have battled depression. I have attempted suicide several times as recently as earlier this year. The demons are forever with me. However they are held at bay through faith in God, prayer and my brother Stephen.
Stephen has become my earthly salvation, my reason for being. How can I leave my beautiful brother alone on this earth knowing that for him the earth, moon, stars and sun revolve around me? Whenever he sees me his whole face lights up. When the workers at his residence or his teachers at his day treatment program ask him Stevie who’s that? He proudly answers my sister. One day I was feeling really down, depressed and discouraged and Stephen’s group home called to tell me they were coming by for me to sign some paperwork. I met the van outside and before the worker could place the papers into my hands Stephen leapt out the van and gave me a big hug! I was pleasantly surprised because people with autism are not really physically expressive. Stephen hugs but usually gingerly. This time he gave it his all. Somehow he must have known or God told him that I needed that hug.
To any of the doctors who might be reading this today and originally diagnosed Stephen back in 1963, Stephen has a job which he loves, enjoys living in his group home, participates in many social activities, has had girlfriends, etc… Yes Stephen has broken barriers. The barriers of doubt and labels from the medical community and from society.
My Mom Mable Elizabeth Palmer finally received the medication she needed in 1995 after my Dad had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. My father Edward Palmer passed away on May 13, 1995. Mom and I were left with each other. The medicine cleared her mind so we could really get to know one another. I asked her why. She said I was overwhelmed. I understood. By then I was an adult woman in my 30s. My mother and I made peace with each other and became good friends. Alas this paradise of togetherness only lasted three years. Cancer claimed Mommy August 2, 1998 sending my life into a tailspin from which I’m just now beginning to recover.