Sonia Sanchez & Love Advice

Sonia Sanchez is a Black poet/playwright/essayist/children’s author who was born in Birmingham, Alabama  in 1934.  She’s written close to 20 poetry books, many children’s books and she’s published at least seven plays.  Sonia has lectured at more than 500 colleges and universities and read her poetry in various nations in Africa, The People’s Republic of China, England, Australia, Cuba, as well as other countries.

In 1984 she published “Home Girls and Hand Grenades,” a collection of poetry and prose.  It includes the true story “Just Don’t Never Give Up on Love” about  Sonia’s actual encounter with Mrs. Rosalie Johnson, an 84-year-old Black woman.  Here’s that story in a nut shell.

Sonia goes to the park to write a book review for a magazine, but shortly after she sits down on a bench, Mrs. Johnson, her bench mate, immediately attempts to engage Sonia in a conversation. Sonia’s attempting to meet her deadline and she isn’t trying to listen to “some ancient love” this woman “carried inside her.” Undaunted, Mrs. Johnson continues to talk until Sonia relents.

Mrs. Johnson tells Sonia that her first husband was a “pretty man.” During their marriage she’d repeat his name over and over “until it hung” from her “ears like diamonds.” Mrs. Johnson asks Sonia if she “had ever loved a pretty man.” Sonia replies, “No” and adds, “They keep their love high in the linen closet and I’m too short to reach it.”

Mrs. Johnson’s “yellow” husband continuously broke her heart with his cheating ways so after five years of marriage she left him. William was her second husband. When she met this wonderful Black man she was “spitting metal,” but he “just pick me up and fold me inside him. I was christened with his love.” Before Mrs. Johnson departs from Sonia she gives her this advice,  “Just don’t never give up on love.”


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