Love and a PraiseSong to a Mother, Ms. Billie

Jalil-holding-two-pictures-of-Mother-Ms.-Billie, Love and a PraiseSong to a Mother, Ms. Billie, Culture Currents World News & Views
“From a young student of African dance under the legendary Ruth Beckford to the mother of a Panther, civil rights activist and supporter of political prisoners. Rest in Power!”

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

Ms.-Billie-left-Dequi-both-bald, Love and a PraiseSong to a Mother, Ms. Billie, Culture Currents World News & Views
Ms. Billie (left) lost her hair to cancer treatment, and déqui (right) shaved her own head in tribute to Ms. Billie.
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
Ms.-Billie-2-1, Love and a PraiseSong to a Mother, Ms. Billie, Culture Currents World News & Views
Ms. Billie Jo Bottom-Brown lighting up the world on “one of her Diva days,” not being one to pass up the opportunity to dress up, step out and celebrate.

July 23, 2022

déqui kioni-sadiki