TO CITIZENS OF THE RIGHT BANK OF ST. PAUL RIVER
- From Hannah Brooks-JacksonI want to say thanks again to everyone who have extended your love to the Brooks family during our period of mourning.
This message comes to all of you as a wake up call, because of a spiritual experience I had at the wake keeping, and funeral services of my Aunt, Antoinette Brooks, in Providence, Rhode Island, April 1-2, 2011.
You see, (I believe) we are the last generation who have enjoyed the songs and culture of the settlements in Liberia.On Friday night (April 1, 2011), about 99.5% of the songs sung at the wake keeping, were "up the river" diddies. The singing of those diddies sounded so great! I felt like I was in Virginia, or Brewerville! It seemed, there were people from all the Liberian settlements representing. On Saturday, there were more singing of diddies.
When I got home, after the funeral of my aunt, something struck me. I realized, every time I decided to visit family members in the states, or every time I plan to attend a function pertaining to my family or cultural background, and I invite my children to come along, they make excuses to not attend. I know, there are other family members who are going through similar problem.
On Sundays, I watched a song fest on TV call (I believe) The Gaither Hour, where this couple brings church choirs together to sing old hymns of our forefathers.....songs that the young people are beginning to do away with. We need those songs. Those songs(including the diddies) helped to carry our forefathers over, through hard and grave times. We need to teach our children, and grandchildren those songs of our days......those songs we heard in the churches, in all the settlements. We have to keep singing those songs at all times, or else, they will be erased from our children' minds, and the songs of our forefathers might vanish in thin air, when we leave this world.
I pray that people like Mr. Charles Neal, III continues recording those songs also, as he, and others sing them. My wish is for people of the settlements to meet at a designated place (in each state) each month, for An Old Gospel Hour, and sing all those songs of old. We can do it. We can encourage our children to learn them.
I want to say thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Ike Wilson, Urias Brooks (Atlanta, GA), Kummey Brooks (Maryland), Cos. Antoinette Brooks -Kai, Rev. Seth Moulton, the Rev. Beatrice Brooks-Mansfield, and the rest of the praise group that led the singing of the old "up the river diddies". I had a spiritual time in the Lord, although I missed my aunt, Aunt Toe, as I missed my brother, Ervin.
Let's try in every way to keep our forefathers gospel legacy burning.
May you be blessed, in Jesus' name.