Wednesday, June 22, 2011
R.I.P. Uncle Clearance
God has blessed me with many uncles who are quality men. Uncle Clarence was one of my uncles. My parents owned a building on the southside of Chicago. Uncle Clarence had a smile that lit up a room and at one point lived downstairs from my folks. He was a flashy dresser always dapper. His siblings called him "fess'' which is short for professor. He read everything. He won debates and gave you a furtive grin if you stated something as fact that was really your opinion masquerading as fact. I posted a poem that I had written that was reminiscent of my rearing in Chicago. I wrote the draft of that poem on the 25th of May. There was a line that referenced Uncle Clarence's library. He had a stockpile of books and music. I had no idea he would have a heart attack on May 30, 2011. Clarence had a book entitled the Chronicles of Negro Protest. I borrowed, kept it, and took it to college with me. That book shaped my conciousness. It gave me a foundational understanding of the courageous African American freedom fighters. Uncle Clarence was also generous. When he came home to Alabama for family reunions, he brought money and gifts. He was the beacon you could count on when somebody in the family had an emergency. At his funeral, a stranger told the family that Uncle Clarence gave him his first suit when the young man was released from prison. He was origina l( surely created from a broken mold) and a great uncle. R.I.P Clarence "Eddie" White. I know your mansion in heaven is adorned with colorful suits and a few gators.