Toni Cade Bambara


photo credit: Susan J Ross, ©1994

Sister Warrior,

You called me up without knowing. Through repetition, through attraction. I saw people putting my name on your door. Saw you holding onto that old copy of the The Black Woman. Saw you mis-spelling “irresistable” everywhere you went.

What asha says about you and Audre is true for us. I would have loved you. And I do, through the sisters and daughters who I have sent into your life, who have carried me to you with love. Cheryll, Nikky, Kai and Aishah are the living doorways for our ongoing love. Of course we would love each other, and hear me when they tell you of their love, and I will be listening when you remember to tell them.

Now listen. The most urgent thing to tell you is that your health and the future of this world are caught up intimately. Center your wholeness. Start your day with feeding your spirit, feeding yourself before you get to everyone else you want to feed. And use our examples to truly understand what it means for this culture to be cancerous, and yet to still be the place we live. Grapple with that as you love yourself, as you love your community, as you make choices as to what and who your time and energy will embrace, and as you notice the limits of your body young one, remember your spirit, because we are all here, cheering, laughing, remembering and waiting for you to practice and fulfill being whole and at home.

With all the urgency of morning,

Toni Cade


One Response

  1. I took this photo of Toni at the National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta in 1994. Good to see it in the context of a letter from my friend and mentor Toni. Would appreciate it if a photo credit can be listed somewhere:
    photo credit: Susan J Ross, ©1994
    Sue Ross

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