Thanks for your patience while I was gone <3 Let’s kick off the new week with my “Health & Beauty” feature on the new Carol’s Daughter site, Transitioning Movement. Today we’re discussing the fundamentals of growing healthy natural hair.
Wow. This was a story. From the time I opened the book and began reading, I felt as if I was at the feet of a storyteller that I could not take my eyes off of nor tear my ears away from. Odell weaved this story like a master craftsman.
This story opens in 1933, during a night of bad weather, a child in a blood stained dress, and the child’s dead mother all left in the kitchen of an old woman who happens to be a former slave. The old lady, Granada affectionately known as “Gran Gran”, begins to tell Violet (the motherless child left with her) her story to try and comfort her. Gran Gran went back to where it all began in 1847, on the Satterfield plantation in the Mississippi Delta.
Mistress Amanda Satterfield lost her daughter, Miss Becky, to cholera and summoned the cook Aunt Slyvie and her husband Old Silas to go and get a newborn baby from one of the field slaves. That baby happened to be Granada who was raised in the Master’s home and occasionally dressed in Miss Becky’s clothes. As Granada grew so did her fierce loyalty to the Mistress. When a new slave arrives at the plantation, things changed forever. Polly Shine was a “healer” but she was called everything from a conjure woman to a witch. When she chose Granada to be her apprentice because she saw that Granada had the “gift” when she first laid eyes on her. This apprenticeship moved Granada out of the big house from her beloved Mistress and Little Lord, her playmate and the Master’s son. Granada fought Polly tooth and nail but Polly never ceased to plant seeds of wisdom in Granada hoping they would take root. Granada’s fierce loyalty to the Mistress always seemed to come back and choke out these seeds before they could take root.
As Gran Gran tells Violet her story to soothe and calm her, Violet begins to relax and shocks Gran Gran with how she fits into Gran Gran’s story. The aging Gran Gran felt out of touch with her “gift” until Violet came along under the most devastating and tragic of circumstances. Polly Shine who always had a way of being in the “weave” of things helped to heal Granada and Violet long after she was gone.
It was so hard to write a review for this book without totally spoiling it. I merely scratched the surface with this review. These were some of the most vivid characters I have ever read. They jumped off the page into your life. They wrapped their arms around you and followed you throughout your day. I found myself “laughing out” so many times. There were many times that my heart ached because Odell did not try to sugar coat life on the plantation. After reading this book, one will never look at “freedom” the same way again.
“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! — When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.”— Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice (via mslizzybennet)
Today I’m celebrating Cajuns, Creoles, brown pelicans, magnolias, oak trees, jazz, thunderstorms, SEAFOOD, Mardi Gras, street cars, parishes, impossible-to-pronounce surnames, the Black and Gold, LSU, the second line, and good old-fashioned hospitality. HAPPY TWO HUNDREDTH, LOUISIANA!
“This moment is all that is guaranteed - use it to express the depth of your love and to wipe your slate clean of any resentment you are holding on to. Life is too precious to carry the weight of the past with you! Let it go and start to grow!”—Jackson Kiddard
I just have to say, my Nanny’s strength, grace and faith in this moment amazes me…. She’s dealing with her own emotions about this leukemia diagnosis (Post about that here) yet still helping each of us process it to. And as always, tonight she shared her perspective on all of this, which honestly eased my mind some, at least until I can get home and actually see her. Goodness, I love that woman!