Hello TTT Ladies,
I hope you are enjoying the novel “Black Berry Days Of Summer” by Ruth P. Watson. I have been asked why did you choose this book? My cousin who lives in Seattle, Washington called me to express her opinion that “Blackberry Days Of Summer” is an example that Black people can only write about one thing and that is “the past” especially black authors that live or that was raised in the south.
Why are you reading a book that is so “depressing” that paints black women as “desperate.”?
“Blackberry Days Of Summer” is a novel that reminds me of the conversations I would hear my mother talking on the telephone to her relatives that lived in the south. I was raised in Washington state. I remember how my mother’s accent would change into her “southern drawl” and she would laugh herself into tears as she reminisced about the people they knew that had some of the same characteristics as “Herman, Pearl, Carrie and Mae Lou. My mother was born and raised in Texas.
I would see my mother transform from an Army wife that lived in Ft.Lewis, Washington waiting for my father to return from the Vietnam war to a woman who allowed a conservation to give permission to be her self. I would look at her in amazement this is who she truly is.
When I met my relatives for the first time in Texas I already knew them and the their “story” in fact my cousins would ask me how do you know so much about that aunt or uncle. I never said how because I did not want my mother to know I was eavesdropping on her conversation.
The truth of the matter is that my mother was an alcoholic” she drinked to get away from pressures of being alone and isolated in the north. She would start calling her friends and relatives that lived in the south. She would be in the kitchen with her bottle of Gin, we would change the records for her as she listen to Johnny Taylor, Sam Cook, Aretha Franklin ect. I would keep her glass full as she talked to her relatives about what was going on back home in Texas. This was the only time I saw her as truly happy when she talked about her own “Blackberry Days Of Summer” There was some sad stories, secretes about who that father really was, who she really wanted to marry. I even learned how she and my father really met which was at a club in Leesville, La she went there to tell my brothers father that she was pregnant with him. He was nowhere to be found, she met my father who married her when she was pregnant with me. They were married forty-four years before she died July 2002.
“When I read “Blackberry Days Of Summer” it is the conversation I hear and I get this rare opportunity to travel back in my thoughts and past to visit with my mother. I see the spirit of Pearl,as Mae Lou represents her strong foundation. Herman Camm broke her heart but I was born because Simon married her.
“Blackberry Days Of Summer” is a toast to my mother who lived in that era, I choose to see her and accepts who she really was in all of the drama, secretes and the lies. In all of that was this woman who lived through glimpse of her past. It is her story, I inherited her past because “Blackberry Days Of Summer” is my history.