On April 11, 2020 Lifetime along with Queen Lafitah, Missy Elliot, and Mary J. Blige gave us this movie based upon the lives of the “First Ladies of Gospel” Jacky Clark Chisholm, Denise Clark Bradford, Twinkie Clark Terrell, Dorinda Clark Cole, and Karen Clark-Sheard, spear-heard by matriarch Dr Mattie Moss Clark.
The girls started singing in church at a early age because their mother Dr Mattie Moss Clark was female director or music at the church. It was a busy house with five girls I couldn’t imagine the amount of stress with that many girls, their father was there but he had to leave after very abusive behavior, which is completely understandable. A male’s fragile ego is a whole other topic that we can come back to later. It’s been said men can’t take the pain they give out. WELL!?
Twinkie was not the oldest but she is the Mini Mattie with the ear, voice and heart of music. She was her mother’s right hand, she traveled with and they spent countless hours on the road together. So wrote the music and played the organs, but she had dreams also. In the movie it was said she passed up her education at Howard University to stat at home and continue to build with her mother and sisters a groundbreaking musical legends they are today.
Have you ever seen the look of a disappointing mother?
How many people can relate to this sister? We are good at on thing and people think that is all we can do and we should be happy with that. It’s. called “settling.” We as women settle more in life than anyone else, because we always put our true wants and needs in the foreground while helping others build their dreams and fulfill their desires. We condition ourselves into thinking we’re okay with accepting good enough. We were not encouraged to follow our dreams, we encouraged to birth babies and take care of home. No matter how much we deny pain and insecurities are buried and it only takes a flicker to ignite a flame. Twinkie left to follow her heart but music was never too far away, although, it took her mother’s death to awaken it after realizing that Dr Mattie prepared her for everything except how to live without her. She hit bottom before she could walk back on stage. Music was given to her by mother and she needed her mother to reassure her that it was always there and only she had the power to use her gift or follow another path.
Denise Clark Bradford decided early on that she wanted to do more than just sing her sisters. She expressed her feelings of getting leftovers and sometimes in the middle you can get lost in the love, because you aren’t the oldest but you’re not the baby. We get overlooked and left out, and it’s not anyone to blame for this its just the nature of the beast but I will say from experience it make your tougher. She became pregnant and yes it was at a time that unwed mothers were shut out and sit down in churches. It had to be hard to walk away from something you’ve done your whole life to be your own woman out of your mother and sister’s shadow. She became estrange and still remains that way. Denise choose motherhood and went on to have seven sons.
Jacky Clark Chisholm is the oldest and she’s a nurse, which means she has most certainly spent her whole life caring for other people. As the eldest she had to look after her sisters during the time her mother traveled. She would look after her mother checking on mother Mattie, making sure she ate and take her medications. She would get after her for not doing following the doctor’s order, because she knew how stubborn she could be. She knew how to nurture and nurse. The rules in her mother’s house were straight forth and although hard it gave them discipline and structure that would later prove key to their lasting success. Throughout her career Jacky won Grammy, Stella, NAACP, and Dove awards while she continued her health career for over forty years. I went to her Instagram page and I see Ms Jacky can still get you right together, quickly.
Dorinda Clark Cole, second from baby of the Clark sisters contemplated suicide following the death of their mother and witnessing the breakdown of sister Twinkie, one thing a stern momma doesn’t teach us is how to live without her. We become lost because she’s always been there without fail until she’s called home. Dorinda is the peacemaker wants to keep the sisters together to flourish. In the peacemaker role you must stand in between the blows and have tough skin but those battles can be so heavy that we are cut but can’t feel the pain yet. We continue to do what we always do to shield our love ones.
Let me tell you there is no heavy weight than that of a strong black mother, I know because I have one and I am one. We expect a lot from our daughters due to the fact we have to prepare them for a harsh reality once they leave out our front doors. Black women are unprotected, endangered, and under attack, and there nothing more we can do except prepare them. We try to prevent it but danger has most times been in our homes, in our families, or close to home, we can NOT avoid it. We teach our girls to be tough and rough and hard to trials and tribulations as a coping mechanism. That is we can turn off our emotions it will keep us from getting hurt. We have been raised by strong women that can’t show weakness or pain, or fear, or need and it’s broken more families than any other races. Why?
Well, my theory is pain and that pain has caused us to shut down and build walls around the chains of generational curses that have been passed down unbeknownst to most of us by relatives that we have never met. It won’t be fixed overnight and first has be acknowledged and healed over time through therapy and or counseling. Counseling was unheard of in our black communities until about 10 years ago, before we were told African Americans didn’t get depressed or mental illness that we should just go to church and pray about it. Thankfully now we are not only breaking generational curses from our families, we leaving badass legacies behind, now if that aint progress, I don’t know what is.
So ladies be intentional about what you want and need even to the most stern loving mother. We mean well but kids don’t come with instructions and each generation is weaker and wiser and comes with a different set of experiences.
Heal Sis. Heal.