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Evelyn C. Fortson

African American Author of Women's Fiction


Have you ever told your children that you were once a young child who dreamed of conquering the world? Do your children only know you as their mother, the person that cooks, cleans, and make their dreams come true.

Now, that my son is an adult with children of his own we speak for hours about the things that we believe in, our hopes and dreams for the future. He no longer sees me just as his mother; but as a woman who is still dreaming dreams and is hopeful for a brighter tomorrow.

My, son saw me get up and go to work all, of his childhood, and most, of his adult life. When he was young, he never knew that his mother was tired of the daily grind of going to work, cooking, cleaning, going to bed and doing it all over again. I, hope he saw the joy he brought me. I now watch him go to work every day to provide for his family, and I see the joy that his children bring him by their very presence.

My, son like myself set aside dreams that he had before he had children, in order, to secure their future. That is what parents do, but I want my son to know that his dreams do not have to die. Langston Hughes asked the question in A Montage of a Dream Deferred, “What happens to a dream deferred?”

My answer to that question would be dreams can lay dormant until they are really to be birth. They do not have to dry up, fester like a sore, or stink like rotten meat. Hold on to your dreams, keeping planning, praying, and putting yourself into position to be successful for when the time is right to live out your dreams.

Share your dreams with your young children, let them know when you have achieved what you set out to achieve, so that they can learn to dream and set goals for themselves early in life. If your children are adults, it is important that you show them that it is never too late to dream.... to achieve.

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As the initiate shock of the pandemic and quarantine wore off, I like a lot of us asked myself, “What lessons am I to learn from this?” After 15 months this is what I know to be true.

1. God is in control.

2. It is God who numbers my days.

3. I want to live.

4. Life is beautiful.

5. I am grateful.

6. Creativity is awesome.

7. Peace is priceless.

8. Family is everything.

9. Loving yourself and others is necessary.

10. Mental Health is something you have, to work at.

I could keep going, but I would love to hear what you have learned in the 15 months that you were forced to be still.

The pandemic and quarantine have left an indelible impression on my mind, heart, and spirit. I hope it has made me move differently in this world because the person I was 15 months ago was just going through the motion, still trying to recover from the devastating loss of family members. Today I, genuinely want to live my life to the fullest, I want to see the world and experience all the joy that God has in store for me.

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Of all the cliches or stereotypes about us this one is truer than you know. Yes, we are strong black women because we have had to be to survive, not only for ourselves but for the very survival of our race. After, all America bred us like cattle to ensure that the labor force could survive the harsh elements of nature; and in so doing, we became stronger, in order, to survive nature and the brutality of racist people. We, strong black women worked alongside our male counterparts in the fields, but we were also expected to work the fields shortly after giving birth. We got even stronger when the children that we loved and nurtured were ripped from our embrace for the auction block.

Slavery is over, but the strength that was birthed from that institution is the same strength that allowed us to survive, Sharecropping, Jim Crow, the Ku Klux Klan, and Institutional Racism.

We are oftentimes, the sole or primary provider for our families. We are still working beside our black men in a hostile environment subjective to discrimination intended to break us and keep us “in our place.” Our children are still ripped from our embrace by gang violence, drug and alcohol abuse, depression, police brutality and imprisonment...

We are strong, because if we stopped praying, struggling, nurturing, loving, encouraging, we could not survive life in America.

Yes, we are strong black women, but we are also soft, and vulnerable. There are times that we feel like giving up. There are times that we need to be treated with care, nurtured, and lifted-up. Sometimes we need to be held and told that everything is going to be okay. Sometimes we need to rest when we are tired. We need to cry when we are distressed, and we need to pray always.

Come, closer my sister, let me hold you in my arms while I assure you that everything is going to be okay. Our children are going to be okay; our loved ones are going to be okay, and we are going to be okay.

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