Joyce Carol Thomas

A Mother's Heart
by Joyce Carol Thomas
adapted from her book of poems, A Mother's Heart, a Daughter's Love

We had a glorious time during our special Mother's Day performance of "A Mother's Heart" in South Berkeley at Black Repertory Theatre on Mother's Day, Sunday, May 13, 2001. Members of the South Berkeley Neighborhood Development Corporation who were beneficiaries of the event were introduced during the reception. They were heartily acknowledged for their fine work of providing education, jobs, arts and culture, affordable housing, and community beautification.

Our inclusion of KQED's "Celebrating Life" breast cancer documentary, hosted by Nancy Wilson, was an important and welcome component of the total Mother's Day Benefit Event, which featured our two-woman play, "A Mother's Heart," hosted by Vonetta McGee. In attendance were Mayor Shirley Dean, the mayor of Berkeley, influential members of the community, including Mothers of the Church from various denominations, and other important guests. If you missed it, you should've been there! What a gift to give mothers and children, viewing this play together on Mother's Day! Vonetta McGee, looking absolutely fabulous, began the event saying, "I read the script. I saw the play, and I loved it!" Evidently so did the audience members who, after viewing the play, voted with their applause and standing ovations.

The reception was dramatic and fabulous. We worked to create the perfect atmosphere, gentle and warm with lots of colors and a display of vegetables and delicious food prepared by Rick and Ann's Catering. We kept in mind that cancer prevention also includes being mindful of our diets. Some favorites dishes included this description supplied by Rick and Ann's "Garlicky Green Platters of blue lake green beans cooked to perfection, then tossed with garlic, olive oil, a little lemon juice and salt and pepper." My personal favorite was the Waldorf with a Twist salad, consisting of "chopped red and green apples, celery, walnuts and golden raisins dressed with a mayo-yogurt dressing subtly flavored with vanilla and lemon zest." I could go on and on, but suffice it to say all were pleasantly surprised by this sumptuous brunch that was also healthy!

From the premiere of "A Mother's Heart

Audience members during the allotted time after the first show, saw the "Celebration of Life" documentary, which ran several times. To stimulate discussion, Joyce Carol Thomas mentioned and credited the KQED quote that "More African-American women die from breast cancer than women of any other race." She noted that African-American women must do more in terms of prevention by getting early testing and choosing a healthy lifestyle.

We thank everyone who works for the well being and health of the entire community of human beings of all cultures, faiths, and races and we especially thank those who extend their support to the African-American community members suffering from this devastating illness, and who are advocates for the large number of African-American women at risk for breast cancer.

Read what the audience had to say about "A Mother's Heart" ...

Copyright 2004-2007 Joyce Carol Thomas. All rights reserved.
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