Proud Black Mary

The Black Madonna can be found thoughout the world especially in Europe, but also in India, America and of course Africa. The Black Madonna represents motherhood, Mother Earth, Life, Death and Lady Wisdom(referred to in the Biblical book of Proverbs). The Black Madonna’s lap represents nurturing which is why many of her depictions show Jesus on her lap. Furthermore, she is a mother to the oppressed, marginalized and the poor which is best shown in the story of the Virgin of Guadalupe. Sadly many of these Black Momas were buried, hidden in the basements of churches and cathedrals or even “whitened”- ironically when they were whitened many European Christians would demand that she be painted black again. Some say Black Madonnas were blackened by candles burning nearby but some religious scholars attribute this theory to racism. There is proof that many Black Madonnas were created to be Black, but as the transatlantic slave trade picked up the Black Madonna was made in a white image so that European Christians could enslave, rape and dehumanize the Black woman without guilt. Today an interest in the Black Madonna has reemerged and my hope is that this will inspire Black women to look to the Black Madonna as a divine mirror reflecting the dignity, natural beauty, wisdom, love and power that we should display as Black women.

For more information on the Black Madonna read:

Return of the Black Madonna by Rev. Matthew Fox, Ph. D

Interfaith Marian Pilgrimages- The Black Madonna

The Magnificat or Song of Mary Luke 1: 46-55

20120808-115656.jpg

Continue reading

Womb+ Compassion= Justice

In Hebrew and Arabic the word for compassion comes from the word for “womb” (The Return of the Black Madonna: A Sign of Our Times or How the Black Madonna Is Shaking Us Up for the Twenty-First Century by Rev. Matthew Fox, Ph.D). I find the connection between the womb and compassion extremely interesting. “Meister Eckhart knew and taught: Compassion means justice.” If compassion comes from the word for womb and compassion means justice then the womb does not only have the capacity to create life but justice. Dr. Cornel West states that “justice is compassion in the public square” which to me means that as women our womb wellness will directly impact our ability to give compassion and practice justice in our society. If we look around our communities and see a lack of compassion and grave injustices we need to examine how we are treating our wombs-spiritually, mentally and physically. I do know the social causes of systematic oppression but I also know that our wombs give us the power to not only create life but to create art, love, compassion, justice and our entire reality. We are spirits, souls and bodies and if we are out of balance in any area it will affect our ability to practice compassion first with ourselves and finally with our neighbor.

Many women suffer with womb wellness issues, especially Black women (see my blog series Black Women & Fibroids: The Epidemic that is Screaming in our Community). I do not think it’s a coincidence that the group that faces the most injustice and receives the least compassion faces the highest rates of womb wellness issues. There is a divine connection between our liberation as women and our womb wellness. Though healing is our divine birthright it is ultimately our choice.

How can we balance the scales of justice for the healing of our wombs and communities?

How can we show compassion to our wombs?

20120807-210836.jpg
Black Madonna & Child

Poetry Challenge Day 17: The Womb

Circular Darkness.
Deep within lies our soul’s container.

Our wombs hold our dreams and the cosmic artwork we will call forth.
Tied to the moon a cycle of death and rebirth occurs within us in intervals of 28.
We must love our womb and all that it can create.
The seat of our soul, the womb is eternity within our flesh.

20120709-181934.jpg