There are no words that can adequately express my sense of loss with the passing of my Mom now among the ancestors. There is a vacuum, a void, a hole in my universe that cosmic light has been fractured into thousands of colors, like a kaleidoscope of seemingly detached prisms flailing to find a shore or harbor of safety, security, a sanctuary for peace. That bosom is now lost to me, the hugs, laughter and tears are now absent, no not the tears … they are constant, like raindrops, cleansing the spirit of pain and anguish washing away the dry and dusty knowing she, my Mother, is gone!
Forever Your Loving Son,
Anthony (Tony) Jalil Muntaqim Bottom
A PraiseSong in Honor of Ms. Billie Jo Bottom-Brown
i stand amongst those of us Black womyn who often said i want be like you when i grow up & despite the tremendous loss so many of us are feeling in this moment that is a truth that lives on Ms. Billie we speak your name, in honor of the decades & generations you have lived amongst us, touching our lives raising children, grandchildren & great-ones too Loving our community & us Loving you right back living, doing & teaching by example that just because Black folk live in an anti-Black country that has stolen & continues to steal from us doesn’t mean we sit idly by & let them steal from us you, Ms. Billie NEVER let them steal from you not your Joy not your Love not your Commitment not your Self-determination not your Resistance & so we speak your name Ms. Billie for resolutely standing up for, by & with us for protecting, encouraging, challenging, expecting & demanding more of us urging us on to do better & be better in that gentle, instructive, straight no-chaser manner that lets us know you got us we speak your name Ms. Billie because your life & legacy are the legend of Black womynhood, Black Resistance Black Motherhood Black Strength Black Self-determination Black Commitment Black Joy Black Living & Black LOVE we speak your name Ms. Billie & we add it to our list of radical Black-Loving womyn & Mothers of veteran Black Panthers who – just like you – endured decades of forced separation & the political imprisonment of a Freedom Fighting son held captive in prison dungeons across this stolen Land we speak your name Ms. Billie Jo Bottom-Brown alongside Ms. LaBorde & Mrs. York as Mothers of our Revolutionary Movement for Black Love & Black Liberation & though we hurt & mourn your Passing know that we cherish & are strengthened by the memory of your vibrant smile your incredible Diva-style the sound of your laughter your life-long Afrikan-centered consciousness – before it was made trendy your well-lived life & a fierce determination to live life on your own terms to never give up & so it is through our tears & sorrow we speak your name Ms. Billie & we hold you in our hearts, minds & Spirits – FOREVER ever-grateful that you came this way & went for 80+ years
July 23, 2022