Doris Sharpe-Frasier is pictured here with her family — women always described as dressing sharp. Sharpe-Fraiser, the business owner/chef at Sharpest Eatery, is hosting a Hattitude 2021 Mother’s Day Gala on Saturday, May 8, at the Tireman Conference & Banquet Center. She is pictured with her large family, including a lot of sisters.
Photo provided by Doris Sharpe-Frasier
What’s the love of a Black mother?
Is it the large helping of soothing hugs or empathetic backrubs after a weary day at school (or work) while you soak in all her brilliant wisdom as a child, and even now?
Maybe it’s the home-cooked meals that leave your soul full and belly stuffed all the while trying to squeeze in that extra piece of perfectly-baked sweet that she lets you indulge in every now and then?
Or might it just be her innate understanding of how to lovingly handle you without a word like in times past? Where down the family line, Black mothers of old also stealthily helped their children heal in times of danger or fear when the world was too much for a Black child.
It’s everything and more.
The love of Black mothers goes deep beyond what can be expressed or uttered at times, yet we hear every word with our bodies and feel it in our souls.
They are cherished and remembered this month and beyond for putting in the work, sacrifice and centuries of love to uplift the next generation of Black women and men who know they can because their Black mothers already did.
With Mother’s Day coming up on Sunday, May 9, The Michigan Chronicle is highlighting two local women doing something extra special for the mothers in the community.
Bringing it Back to the Church Mothers and Their Hats
Doris Sharpe-Frasier, 72, comes from a line of sharp ladies — it’s in the maiden name that she carries proudly after all.
Sharpe-Frasier, who was raised on the westside in the ‘50s and ’60s with her 12 sisters and brothers, said that she grew up going to church on Sundays seeing everyone decked out in their big, beautiful hats.
“When you wear your hat it changes the attitude when you come to church,” she told The Michigan Chronicle recently. “My mother and my grandmother all wore hats in the church.”
Sharpe-Frasier said that during slavery, some enslaved women would wear hats to show how God has blessed them despite difficult situations.
“You came to church and dressed in your finest clothes,” she said, adding that the more blessed you looked showed how good God’s been blessing.
As the business owner/chef at Sharpest Eatery, Sharpe-Frasier is hosting a Hattitude 2021 Mother’s Day Gala from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 8, at the Tireman Conference & Banquet Center, 8031 Tireman Ave. in Detroit.
The event is to honor and commemorate the history of Black women wearing hats in the church with brunch, a gospel program, a photo booth and vendors. Ladies are being encouraged to dress to impress for a “Sista Strut,” too.
Tickets are available for $40 and can be found by searching eventbrite.com; tickets will also be available at the door on the day of the event.
Sharpe-Frasier said that this typically yearly event was halted last year due to the pandemic but they are looking forward to restarting safely.
“This is an opportunity for women to be able to get together and show off their hats,” she said adding that growing up her father always told her and her sisters to live up to their last name. “We would go and … always look sharp.”
Sharpe-Frasier has seven children of her own and 10 grandchildren. She added that her children and grandchildren are working in her business after she and her husband started it in 2008.
She said that her mother always told her to be proud of herself and to do for others. She took her advice while trusting God in the process.
“We were a family who [not only believed in God] knew God — there is a difference,” Sharpe-Frasier said.
“My Mom Led the Way for Us”
Stephanie Byrd, co-owner of Floods Bar & Grille, The Block and The Garden Theater, is continuing the legacy of her mother and father after they established Floods Bar & Grille over 35 years ago in Detroit. Byrd and her sister are now running the restaurant and looking forward to honoring other mothers with a special Mother’s Day brunch on Mother’s Day.
“For Mother’s Day we have brunch at Floods for the first time ever,” she said adding that there will be delicious eats like a new special including lobster and grits, chicken and waffles, a lamb chop breakfast plate and more. “Brunch is a combination of our new brunch items plus our dinner items.”
Byrd said that it’s been such a hard year in the Black community especially, and with things opening back up she wants to safely get back to business while honoring mothers.
“People are ready to get out safely, she said. “We wanted to celebrate mothers — they hold us together; build the family up.”
Byrd added that often in the Black community food is “our love language” and Black mothers are known for throwing down in the kitchen producing mouth-watering meals that show their children they care.
Byrd recalled that her own mother ran Floods and she watched and learned from her at a very young age.
“I watched her run the kitchen, run the whole entire bar,” she said. “I had an opportunity to watch her create a business in a male-dominated industry. That gave me a lot of encouragement and confidence to continue our family legacy. … My mom led the way for us, me and my sister.”
For more information visit www.floodsdetroit.com.