Happy Mother’s Day 2018


It’s Friday … yeah … T.G.I.F. … and thank creation for Mothers!

And you already know that it is ONLY right!  Now, I am fairly sure that there are some “mothers” out there that don’t quite “fit the description” of these “mothers” that we talk about on Mother’s Day.  Hopefully, they are reading, too … getting messages from this celebration that may propel them into becoming better mothers.  So, just don’t judge …

This day in particular, coupled with my mother’s birthday on May 20th, 1917 is bitter sweet.  Marietta Dolores Cook was born at a time and a place in American History … that propelled her to leave with my father, Isaac Henry Cook, and his brother David and wife, to New York’s Harlem post World War I.  My father didn’t want to raise a family in the then proudly “racist South” where African American family members were often found together … hanging from a tree …  Peace be still … So, they saddled up their resources, which did not include a car, and caught the next thing smoking on the railways headed to New York City!  The “Harlem Renaissance” was brewing there with the jazz bands including Duke Ellington and the “big band sound” as well as “Lindy Hoppers” who created a new fad in dancing for the growing number of African Americans “moving” from the South to New York’s “Harlem”.  My mother was just a young lady in her early twenties, and “Big Ike” had fallen madly in love with his “princess bride”.  He would do ANYTHING for her!

She was a model “Mom” who worked with the The Girl Scouts of America, The Student Aid Society of White Plains, The Flower Club of Bethel Baptist Church, Parent/Teacher Liaison for The White Plains Child Day Care, was a “domestic engineer” for many many Jewish families in White Plains and Scarsdale, NY … performed superbly as a wife and a mother … with me it made four children.  She was a “home maker” in the true sense of the word as she prepared ALL of our meals at home in the Winbrook Projects’ tiny kitchen in our one bathroom three bedroom apartment at “135 South Lexington Ave., Apt. 5A”, and sewed all of our clothes!  Shucks, this woman used to MAKE her own clothes … “from scratch”!!  Can you say “The Real Wonder Woman”?!?  She was the first African American person, not to mention woman, who became president of the Parent Teacher’s Association at Rochambeau School where I attended elementary school in White Plains.  She kept her “eye on me” and I kept an eye out for her … as she would appear unexpectedly at any given moment!  She and my father used to “strongly encourage” my sister Edna to help me with homework to the point that I began to excel in school.  A punishment from “Big Ike” pretty much kept me towing the line through school until I graduated from Princeton in 1976.  They both were there in the flesh at my graduation …they looked so good together … “Big Ike” and “Mary” … as they represented the new breed of African American that was spawned in Harlem.  They often looked like a “black Bonnie and Clyde”, though their mission was exactly the opposite.

So, in closing, I want to wish all the “Mothers” in the WORLD today … a Happy Mother’s Day … ’cause the “fathers” can’t do it by themselves!!

Love and Miss you Mom!

Yo’ Baby Boi,

John I. Cook, Director

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