Aunt Sadie’s Angel
Aunt Sadie’s life is coming to an end and she has no angel, no spirit-guide to help her crossover. Rashida’s life is just beginning and her angel is overwhelmed by the demands of guarding her. In both cases the confusion can be traced to matters of race and racism
WHERE IT TAKES PLACE:
In heaven, that vast and glorious place we’ve heard so much about yet know so little of. And on earth – in all of the earth, especially wherever it is you live.
WHERE I WROTE IT:
In Philadelphia. Most of it in my mother’s North Philadelphia home where I had grown up and moved out and then moved back to save money. The rest of it in my own home where I moved once I had saved enough money to do so. In any case it’s a home-spun tale
WHY I WROTE IT:
On September 11, 2001 a war, of sorts, was waged against the United States. Thousands of innocent people lost their lives, and the dynamics of very many families were forever sorrowfully altered. The assailants were 19 men of Arab descent. Fear engulfed the nation; and people everywhere developed a hatred of Arabs.
The fear was understandable. The hatred was not. Well maybe a hatred of those 19 men and the forces behind them was understandable. But hatred of all Arabs certainly was not. From that time forward I found myself thinking and talking and debating about ethnic stereotyping and racial profiling. I found myself thinking about the erroneous assumptions people make about all African Americans because of the misconduct of a few African Americans. I thought about the things I’ve heard over the years of my life about Native Americans, or Asians, or Africans, or Latinos. I thought about the things I’ve heard about Christians and Muslims and Jews, things about women - especially things about Black women and also things about White women. I thought of the things I’ve heard about gay people, or poor people or uneducated people, things about single parents or unwed mothers. I thought about the very many ways we classify and group people and how we allow our experiences with a few people from any one of those groups to dictate how we feel about the group in its entirety. And in each case I found myself asking – “Really, all of them? How could it possibly be all of them?”
Over the years, as I spent time in the presence of God I saw the beauty of human diversity and the handiwork of God in people from all backgrounds and walks of life. And as I sat with God examining prejudice (both that which I encounter and that which I may exhibit) this story unfolded. I didn’t intend to share it as much as I intended to allow it to shape and inform my worldview. But in the fullness of time -