Houston White writes: let's celebrate our phenomenal women

 White calls his Aunt Lorean a "a pillar of love, hope, and consistency," and says she made it possible for his family to move to Minneapolis.  Photo by Nikki McComb

White calls his Aunt Lorean a "a pillar of love, hope, and consistency," and says she made it possible for his family to move to Minneapolis. Photo by Nikki McComb

By Houston White | Contributor

 

‘Cause I’m a woman 

Phenomenally. 

Phenomenal woman, 

That’s Me.

 Maya Angelou 

 

Maya Angelou’s words perfectly capture the essence of the vast beauty of women.  The role of women, particularly in the black community, cannot be understated.  I often say that if you polled ten black people and asked the question “what are the most essential institutions in our community?” it’s my belief that overwhelming answer would be: grandma’s house, church and the barber shop.  

My Aunt Lorean, a Mississippi native who migrated to Minnesota in the 1960s is the perfect example of this fact.  She has lived on the Northside for over 45 years, and though she has occupied many different houses, she is the institution, a pillar of hope, love and consistency that so many, whether blood relative or not, have come to call Mother Patterson.  In fact, this jewel of a human being is the reason my mother, sister and I are in Minnesota.  She opened her home to us to escape a difficult time and helped us in our pursuit for a better life.  

 White and his wife Donise sit outside HWMR in warmer months. Donise inspired the women's clothing line at the shop.  Photo by Katherine Harris

White and his wife Donise sit outside HWMR in warmer months. Donise inspired the women's clothing line at the shop. Photo by Katherine Harris

My aunt for whom I am eternally grateful is just one example of the many phenomenal women that reside in North Minneapolis.  I think about Mrs. Beverly Cottman, who was my Biology teacher at North High. I recall how hard she was on me. Of course at that time I didn’t like it, but as an adult I now realize that it was because she was much more than just another teacher. She was then, and still is today, a village mother.  

The bible says, “When a man finds a wife, he finds a great thing.” My journey in life has been greatly impacted by the presence of my dear wife Donise White.  She is the inspiration behind the entire women’s line at HWMR and the embodiment of the modern phenomenal woman.  

Please join us Saturday, May 12 at HWMR for a celebration of phenomenal women, in partnership with Beautiful Classy Driven. We’ll also be releasing a limited edition collection in celebration of Mother’s Day.

Kenzie O'Keefe