Home » “Fierce Love, ‘Beloved’, and Black History Month”Mayor Aidsand “Ace” Wright-Riggins

“Fierce Love, ‘Beloved’, and Black History Month”
Mayor Aidsand “Ace” Wright-Riggins

The month of February intersects Valentine’s Day and Black History Month. In fact, Valentine’s Day occurs is smack dap right in the center of this important month. Thinking about that somehow led me to reflect on the novel, “Beloved”. Beloved was published in 1987 by the celebrated American author, Toni Morrison. It is a work of historical fiction taking place in the period following the Civil War known as Reconstruction. The story delves into the atrocities of the U.S. slave economy and how formerly enslaved persons have begun new lives after emancipation.

The main character Morrison builds the novel around is Baby Suggs. Baby Suggs was born enslaved and eventually gave birth to nine children. All her children, except for Halle, were taken from her and sold to other slaveowners. Baby Suggs suffered from but refuses to be victimized by her trauma. She resisted the common societal narrative as truth or as an indictment on her life. She created and sought to provide a space for healing for her community. She became an “unchurched” preacher. Predominantly, the Beloved plot is a profound exploration into how people rebuild spiritually following horrifying trauma.

On Valentine’s Day and during Black History Month, I am inspired by her Suggs “sermon” about fiercely loving your own heart:

“Here,” she said, “in this here place, we flesh; flesh that weeps, laughs; flesh that dances on bare feet in grass. Love it. Love it hard. Yonder they do not love your flesh. They despise it… No more do they love the skin on your back. Yonder they flay it. And O my people they do not love your hands. Those they only use, tie, bind, chop off and leave empty. Love your hands! Love them! Raise them up and kiss them. Touch others with them, pat them together, stroke them on your face ‘cause they don’t love that either. You got to love it, you! And no, they ain’t in love with your mouth. Yonder, out there, they will see it broken and break it again. What you say out of it they will not heed…What you put into it to nourish your body they will snatch away and give leavin’s instead. No, they don’t love your mouth. You got to love it.” “This is flesh I’m talking about here. Flesh that needs to be loved. Feet that need to rest and to dance; backs that need support; shoulders that need arms, strong arms I’m telling you. And oh my people, out yonder, hear me, they do not love your neck unnoosed and straight. So love your neck; put a hand on it, grace it, stroke it, and hold it up. And all your inside parts that they’d just as soon slop for hogs, you got to love them. The dark, dark liver – love it, love it, and the beat and beating heart, love that too. More than eyes or feet… More than your life-holding womb and your life-giving private parts, hear me now, love your heart. For this is the prize.”

Borough Newsletter


No event found!
Load More

Borough council meets the 1st Wednesday of each month.

Borough of Collegeville

Borough Hall
491 E. Main St., Collegeville, PA 19426
Phone: 610-489-9208
Fax: 610-489-6661
Email Us

Borough Hall Office Hours: Monday - Friday: 9AM – 4PM

Police Department

Emergency: Call 911

Non-emergency (24/7):  610-489-9332

Copyright 2023 Borough of Collegeville.