By Daina Perry
Although I am very fair skin, my coun·te·nance is black,
Although I was raised by a white mother, my experience is black,
Although I have the blood of many nations running through my veins, the blood I bleed is black,
I have loved a black man,
I have married a black man,
I have birthed black children.
I am a black woman who loves self, my identity is so tied up in black culture I resonate across several generations of knowledge of a continent that birthed the world.
My pride, my song, my soul is that of an African people who built everything you see.
We are the foundation--America was built upon our backs, blood, sweat and tears.
What do you fear?
Why must you kill those whom you came from?
It was at my breast you suckled after your first breath, I fed you as I did my own, at times neglecting my child to make sure you had enough!
Was my sacrifice not filling to your belly?
Was not my blood, sweat and tears, the sustenance this country grew on?
I have given, and given, and given of myself until I am empty.
I will no longer stand silent as you kill my children simply for the rich melanin that covers their skin.
I will wail, rage, fight, claw, beat my drums, scream til I can no longer speak, until you hear me to the depths of your depravity, until you understand that you came from me!
I am mother of all! This black woman created all!
Daina Perry was born in Evanston 50 years ago. Her father Charles Perry-Kelly (the only surviving member of his doo-wop group the Naturals/Duvals) was in the Evanston Police Department for years before he retired 23 years ago. Her uncle was the first Black manger of an Evanston bank on Grove Street. He became a bishop in Rapid City, South Dakota and Pastor in the Church of God in Christ. He was trained under Evanston's late Bishop Carlis Moody Sr. Her grandmother was Mother of the Church at Springfield Missionary Baptist Church, Evanston, and worked at their soup kitchen.
Daina worked for Evanston School Districts 65 and 202 and has run her own home daycare.