My name is Judy Brown – I’m from Louisiana – Moved to Pasadena, Texas probably about 40 years ago with 4 kids – I was a single parent and moved in the only 3 bedroom townhouse on South Street, and my kids went to Deer Park – Actually when I moved here, there were really no Blacks in Pasadena.
Yes – in fact, Pasadena had a reputation for being extremely unwelcoming to Blacks and had been home to a branch of the Klu Klux Klan for many years. So I was waiting for her story of conflict or worse… when Judy Brown opened the door to a glimpse of a life being lived beyond culture bumps – a life lived from a common humanity. She matter of factly told me that she had experienced great kindness and concern – that the people who lived around her helped her to find a doctor for her children and for herself and made sure she had everything she needed to start a new life far away from her home in Louisiana.
I asked her why she thought this had happened and she told me that her whole life had been this way. But her life began to make sense as she talked about her family especially her maternal grandmother – Octavie – who had been the midwife and healer in that small Louisiana town. Those who needed help -Black and White – all came to Miss Octavie for her healing – She was a herbalist who gathered life restoring plants and prepared them – without charge – for anyone who came into her care. It was perhaps this universal gift of healing that influenced Octavie’s daughter (Judy’s mother) and father to become life-long friends with the White family with whom they shared 50 acres. Their children played together –each mother scolding or hugging each child as needed. These two families found a way to move beyond culture bumps in daily life.
Culture bump theory posits that differences can be used either to separate us or to unite us. The Culture Bump Approach trains individuals to use their own culture bumps to consistently and consciously move into a common universal reality – without sacrificing one’s own individuality. Miss Octavie…intuitively knew and lived this – Her legacy lives on in Judy Brown’s healing hands and smile – as she nurses elderly patients – skin color not relevant.
And her children? Who knows what boundaries they will move beyond.
Do you know somebody who lives “beyond culture bumps”? Nominate them for the next culture bump newsletter’s Person Living a Life Beyond Culture Bumps. Simply go to Contact Culture Bump and tell us why you think he or she should be the next honoree.