Welcome to my fatherís homegoing!
He was a simple man with an extraordinary life,
A Georgia boy, born and raised
in a wooden shack in Augusta,
In the heart of Jim Crow,
With segregation all around,
And with lynchings always waiting
just around the corner,
Born to a Black Mama,
And his old man was Irish, as
he always told us.
Was sent to the Korean War and came back with medals,
Then chose the printing trade, where Black men were mostly kept
He married my mother, the love
of his life, and found a home in paradise, in Laurelton, Queens.
He was a simple man who had a lot to say,
About anything and everything
you can imagine,
You might not have agreed with
all he said,
But what he said often made you laugh.
And he liked to tell jokes, even
when the punchline was not apparent,
Except maybe in his own mindÖ
He had many loves, my fatheró
He loved his God and he loved
He loved helping others, serving
With his church and with his
He loved Monday night football,
And I dare you to find a bigger
Actually, I dare you to find
any other Knicks fan, anywhere.
And of course, he loved his family,
And his two grandchildren Kris
He bragged about them so much.
We grew up in completely different times,
And I know he didnít always understand
our world, my brotherís and mine,
Of Ivy League opportunities and
But it didnít mean he wasnít
Or that he wasnít responsible
for us being what we had become,
But in any case, he left us with
With memories of sitting on the
back porch in the summertime,
And of the one-dollar matinee,
and our shopping trips,
And that ice cream shop,
And most importantly his work
I know my father would have preferred a different
way to leave,
Maybe in his leather chair at
home with a pipe in his hand,
Watching wrestling or listening
to B.B. King and Bobby Blue Bland,
Maybe with a big plate of lima
beans and rice.
But my biggest regret was that he never got to meet
my son Ezra,
That baby boy who died last season,
on the day before he was born.
But now I know that things have
come full circle,
And the two of them have found
each other in that spirit world,
That land where the ancestors
dwell and conduct their business.
And now my son is sitting on
my fatherís knee,
Listening to my fatherís colorful
stories, his life experiences,
And all sorts of jokes of course.
And all along, that was the way it was supposed to
With my son sitting on his grandfatherís
And you canít ask for a better
homegoing than that.
BlackCommentator.com Editorial Board member David A. Love, JD is a journalist
and human rights advocate based in Philadelphia, and a contributor
to the The
Progressive Media Project, McClatchy-Tribune News Service, In These Times
and Philadelphia Independent
Media Center. He blogs at davidalove.com,
and Open Salon.
here to contact Mr. Love.