There are three poems written by black women about black women which I really like. As the title of this posting suggests one of them is Maya Anegelou’s Phenomenal Woman. The second one is Of Course When They Ask For Poems About The ‘Realities’ of Black Women by Grace Nichols and lastly Mari Evans’ Black Woman.
I don’t just like these poems because they are well written but because I know these poems talk about real women. Women who I have met, women I know, like mum or this woman, this woman and this woman and even this woman plus all the other amazing women in my family.
Over the past few days I have felt the need to add another person to my list of Phenomenal Women – my host. She is a school teacher by day and has converted half of her house into a school, blackboard, books, desks and chairs! On Sunday she teaches the Garifuna language to about 15 children aged between 4 and 12. On Thursday evenings she runs a youth group, during the school holidays she has a summer school and she is about to restart her after school home work club. All of this she does for free and most of the time alone. She is involved with the National Garifuna Council and she is also Chairperson of the Belize National Union of Teachers Women Committee. Oh and a member of the Lions Club.
What amazes me about this woman is that everytime I come home from work and ask how her day has been she always says it’s been productive. She never seems to complain about being tired or overworked. Every morning she will greet you by saying today is a new day and she is always filled with ideas on how to get more involved with community. I have watched her speak to her students at the Garifuna classes and she doesn’t just teach them the language, she teaches them to be proud of their identity and their culture. The fact that these children turn up without fail and an accompanied every Sunday, at 3 pm is testimony to the positive impact she has on their lives.
As a host she does more than just provide me with a roof over my head and three meals a day. She inspires, motivates and encourages me and as if that is not enough she twists and styles and my locks Everything I do at work is of interest to her -she asks, listens and makes suggestions.
She reminds me of my aunties and that is yet another reason why I have added her to my list of Phenomenal Women!