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#eulogizingaretha: Miss Aretha’s Daughters - The Feminist Wire

#eulogizingaretha: Miss Aretha’s Daughters

By The Reverend Raedorah C. Stewart ©2018

On the occasion of her passing the baton to eternal womanhood

Miss. Aretha. Franklin.

……….My southern sensibilities always put a handle on her name

……….Even now when I am grown woman enough to be called Miss myself

……….R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

 

Miss Aretha birthed four daughters in my lifetime.

Daughters whose births eluded headline news

Daughters whose lives are seldom seen in resemblance

Daughters whose legacies dwell among the living for now

Eternal as is Queen Mother of Soul who birthed four daughters in my lifetime.

 

That Natural Woman, 1967

……..Begat I’m Every Woman, 1978

……………..Begat That Phenomenal Woman, 1995

………………………Begat Beautiful Flower, 2009

……………………………….Begat That Black Girl Magic, 2013

 

Miss Aretha

Even when she didn’t know our names

Suffered labor pains

For us to know ourselves

For us to know ourselves perfect and powerful

…………Nappy headed and draped in fur

…………Weaved and bodacious

…………Self-assured and sexy soft

…………Playful and paid!

 

Miss Aretha

Even when she didn’t know our names

Wasn’t playing games

With how to tell her story

So we’d know how to tell our truths

………….Bent but not broken

………….Shamed but unashamed

………….On good days and on our last nerve

………….With similarities and intimately shared!

 

Miss Aretha

………Queen Mother of Soul

………The Natural Woman

Begat four anthems for black women and

……….soliloquies for womanish girls

……….I call us her daughters

For in her rhythms and resistance

We find new ways of being

Natural    Every     Phenomenal     Beautiful     and     Magical

Morning when we rise.

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The Reverend Raedorah C. Stewart:  mother who raised a black son into independence and integrity; ordained clergy in mainline denominations, seminary graduate, independent religious scholar; seminary professor, writing entrepreneur, queer womanist, and poet. She resides in the nation’s capital, grows purple edible produce in her rooftop raised box garden, and paints acrylic abstracts.