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Fabu’s Heart On Writing

My grandfather, Woodie Partee, was a card carry National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (N.A.C.C.P.) member in Como, Mississippi in 1950. Just carrying that card, in his wallet, could have meant his instant death if his membership was discovered by Whites. My mother, Bernice Partee Carter, marched with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis in 1968 when the marchers were pushed towards the Mississippi River by police exploding tear gas and beating everyone in sight. Mom was protesting in Memphis while Dad was protesting in Viet Nam as one of the many Black soldiers sent in record numbers to the frontlines to be killed. My aunt, Mattie Partee, protested down South and up North over decades, so I have protest running hot in my veins. Like these family members, I stand for justice wherever I am in the world. I am in Madison, Wisconsin, this is home and unfortunately Wisconsin is the worst state for African Americans. Justice needs to abound in Wisconsin.

I write to encourage, inspire and remind. Never before have we all needed encouragement, inspiration and a reminder of what is good in ourselves and in each other. The COVID-19 pandemic hit the world and we are still reeling from the lack of preparations and all of the resulting deaths. Our beloved elders, who contract the virus, are dying at a time when we all need their wisdom the most. In the midst of this chaos, comes a series of murders of Black people by police and racists. The protests demanding justice, while important, put even more people at risk for contracting the virus, especially the elderly. Those people age of 60 and over, as well as those who have compromised immune systems are more susceptible to getting the virus and must not participate physically in the marches. I was born at the tail end of the Baby Boomer generation and have kissed “60” and so I must protest with “the iron fist of my words.” My columns are in the Capital City Hues and the Cap Times. I am creating new POETRY!

Fabulous Fabu

Mrs. Edith Lawrence Hilliard and Fabu embrace at The Overture Center Reading of Journey to Wisconsin: African American Life in Haiku that features poems about her Owens ancestors who are on the cover.
Fabu presents her book, Poems, Dreams and Roses, to Governor of Wisconsin Jim Doyle and Mrs. Jessica Doyle at a WWBIC celebration. (Photo by Ruth Rohlich)