Friday, February 10, 2012

Black History Month - In Honor of Senior African American Women by Mrs. Dorothy Barron

Black History Month - In Honor of Senior African American Women by Mrs. Dorothy Barron

In honor of Black History Month, I wish to pay honor to Senior African American Women, especially those who quietly go about their communities utilizing their abilities, time and talents to make a positive difference and note the deeds of one woman in particular. Such emphasizes the positive difference one individual can make within a community and within the lives of others.

As Co-founder and Director of the Organization, Parents Focused on Education and prior to becoming injured and disabled in a bus accident a valuable lesson about poverty (false assertion and propaganda that the poor do not want to work) was reaffirmed and I was privileged to have met a very special African American Senior Woman. Let me take a few minutes to share a situation which emphasized both. Many women in an impoverished community, which sat in the heart of a major city wanted jobs and approached our organization for assistance. Most did not have adequate attire to wear for seeking jobs or going to job interviews or resume writing skill. 

It never ceases to amaze as to what can happen and be accomplished when people work together. Our office sat in a building that housed a number of government service agencies. Bringing those agency heads together solved the job process and preparation issues.

My bright idea for having resolved the attire issue was to teach the women how to sew. A business donated what appeared to have been a ton of patterns in all sizes and quite a bit of sewing material. Things moved along faster than I had expected and I had no seamstress. I could cut and pin, but was learning myself and some of those patterns had so many pieces and instructions that after I removed and viewed them, I had trouble just getting the patterns back into their packages!

And then… with shoulders erect and firm steps, she stepped into the office carrying a bag. She had heard that there was a need for her services as a Seamstress. In her 70s, she appeared no older than 50 years of age. I believe she was a retired school teacher; she certainly spoke like one- proper diction or pronunciation and she walked and sat erect at all times. She would not take monies for her services; she lived in the community and wanted to give back. She taught us much more than sewing, as older people are prone to do. Our Seamstress gave us wisdom, shared her experiences, exuded strength and was a blessing in many ways.  She was determined that the sewn outfits meet her exacting standards and many seams were ripped out and re-ripped, but upon completion, each woman had a beautifully sewn outfit of her choosing with the assistance of this Seamstress.

At the end of the sewing class which lasted from 6-8 weeks; unbeknownst to us all, she had been working on her own special project, which she presented. In various African colors and materials, she had sewn an African scarf and hat for each participant. What a wonderful surprise!

Once again and in Celebration of Black History Month, we thank Senior African American Women (and men) for your time, energy, skills, wisdom and contributions; a special thanks to our Seamstress who is no longer among us, but whose impact and deeds, remain.  

 Mrs. Dorothy Barron, Founder

Parents Taking Charge in Education


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