Eulogy: For Susie Jackson











A loving person

She had no animosity toward nobody

She took care of this family for generations

She took in others

She was just that type of person

She taught us never to hate

Matriarch of the family; trustee of the church;

mother of two, one of whom credits you

with raising fifty more.  You brought up your kids

in the East Side projects. When your son moved out,

you took in two young people who needed a place to stay.

That, they say, was just your way. Cousins, nieces, nephews,

grands and greats–you dried tears, bandaged knees,

fed them on love and collard greens, and, one great-nephew said,

taught them right from wrong. One nephew died trying to save you.

You were fond of Proverbs 22:6: “Start children off on the way they should go,

and even when they are old, they will not turn from it.”

If only those who’d raised the child

who sent you on to glory

had started him off that way,

you might have made it to that family reunion

you’d been looking forward to.


The massacre of nine people on Wednesday, June 17th at the historic Emanuel A.M.E. church in Charleston, South Carolina, is a tragedy of national proportions. I feel strongly that this is a time for all Americans to act in whatever way we can to address the racial hatred that lives on in our country in ways both great and small. This is the fifth of a series of poems honoring the victims of the Charleston shooting.

The words that open this poem are those of Susie Jackson’s family members. Many of the details about the keystone role she played in her family are taken from an article in Charleston’s Post and Courier. At 87, she was the oldest of the victims of the Charleston shooting; her nephew TyWanza Sanders, died trying to save her.


One thought on “Eulogy: For Susie Jackson

  1. Pingback: Eulogy: Ethel Lee Lance | Susan DeFreitas

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s