On the night that Gwendolyn Brooks learned that she would become the first Black woman to win the Pulitzer Prize, she was sitting in her living room on the Southside of Chicago with her nine-year-old son in the dark because the light bill hadn’t been paid. By morning word had spread. A 32-year-old Black girl genius had secured the highest literary award in the land. Reporters descended on Gwendolyn’s home and as they came, she sat petrified, not wanting to reveal to the journalist and cameramen that they would have no place to plug in their equipment.
When one of them came into the house and flipped on the switch without her knowing. The lights came on. Someone had gone down to the light company and paid the bill.
Somebody out there today needs this exact story.
Somebody needs to be reminded that its darkest right before dawn.
Somebody needs to be reminded that there is still hope all around us.
“We are each other’s harvest;
we are each other’s business;
we are each other’s magnitude and bond.”
Today’s walk is a story of celebration. Of what survived. A reminder that we are the #daughtersof praying Black women and that their prayers are what keeps the lights on.
Through Gwendolyn’s story we will discover the stories of our great-great-grandmothers, women who fled the terrors of the Jim Crow South, with nothing but the traditions, faiths, and beliefs of their mamas, packed in their suitcases.
Join GirlTrek’s Black History Bootcamp – The Prayer Edition at blackhistorybootcamp.com to receive specially curated emails with prayers, survival tips, speeches + dedicated songs to listen to for each episode. Together we will discover the stories of 21 spiritual warriors.
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