Theresa Freeman, Harlem’s true superwoman and the President of the NYC Chapter of the National Action Network showed me a massive amount of love from our first introduction.
In the summer of 2013, I was honored by NAN’s Second Chance Committee and presented with the Key to Harlem & a proclamation that made June 28, 2013 Detrel Howell-Sapp Day by Miss Theresa!
I was choked up because I knew that God was shining down on me to let me know that I was on the right path, doing the right thing — and that my mother’s spirit was standing right beside me, beaming with immense pride!
This was only the beginning…
Wherever there was ‘action’ needed, guess who I’d run into?! Yep! She would be bopping with her cane, taking charge and telling folks just what they needed to hear to get things in order. I would see her at community events, fundraisers, rallies — it did not matter to Theresa Freeman — she was present and her presence was felt!
When her health began to decline, she was more reliant on a rolling walker, but again — she could be seen on the sidelines whereas I can think of countless community leaders whose absence was exceptionally evident.
Reading through her obituary a few days ago brought me to tears. The woman who fussed at me — just because she could — was truly a giant who had rubbed elbows with most of Harlem’s elite. Congressman Charlie Rangel referred to Miss Theresa as the ‘Harriet Tubman of the 20th Century — there were no barriers that she opted not to challenge.
May you rest eternally Miss T ~ you’ve earned your wings & a special place in the kingdom! #amen
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