What a lovely afternoon spent with the EVE Circle. LaVerne Baker Hotep, with the Center for Victims of Violence and Crime (CVVC), organized a retreat for a group of African American women at Wild Red’s Gardens, formerly known as Mildreds’ Daughters Farm. It is the only farm within the Pittsburgh city limit.
The women spent a joyous day outdoors on the farm. When the skies darkened and it got cooler, they joined together for food and fellowship.
I shared part of the afternoon with the women sharing about African Americans and the environment, and leading a guided meditation focusing on faith, the environment, and health. I was delighted to see Lois McClendon with B-PEP/Coalition Against Violence and a Pittsburgh environmentalist.
Photos by Dianne Glave
When Billy Holiday was ten years old she was raped by a forty year old man and he was only imprisoned for five years and she was sentenced to a reformatory for two years because the judge sais she must have seduced him. Billy went on to sing the song “Strange Fruit” that documented black men being lynched at white picnics, where they would pick a nigga to string up on a tree, castrate and dismember him to auction off his appendages to racist souvenier collectors. They would burn the bodies as they hung, referring to it as a Negro Barbeque. Billy’s song was powerful enough to awaken congress to draft anti lynching laws. Abused black women have the stength of God in them because they extrapilate brilliance from their oppresion and become a living symbol for activism instead of a living symbol for cataclysm.