A word about Viola Spotts-Dawson. Moma Vi’la as we called her. She is the reason we are sane today.  She was the constant, loving, corrective presence in our lives. Without her, we would be so much less human than we are today. She lived an under-valued life in the world and yet imparted power, resilience, and tenacity to her children.  I owe her more than two lifetimes can repay.  Thank you, Moma!

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There’s not much to say about me.  I live in Louisville, Kentucky, with my wife, Annette. We are the proud parents of three children, Jessica, Shukura, and the late Gyasi Spotts and the excited grandparents of GeMari, Aidan, and Aniyah.  I am the son of a Strong Black Woman, Viola Spotts, and a gifted Black Man, The Late Rev. George M. Spotts, both of whom gave me the best parts of me.  I have precious and beloved siblings, Vanessa Spotts, Greg M. Spotts, and Sammy "Shake" Anderson, all of whom shine with an incontestable brilliance that is unique to their domain of work.

As a writer, thinker and Man I have read, been impacted and influenced by many great men and women.  Among my mentors are the late John Rice, my Kung Fu teacher and 1st mentor, Ms. Marie Demic, my high school teacher and encourager, Dr. Ron Farrar & Ralph Johnson, my greatest professors in the School of Journalism at the University of Kentucky, The late Dr. Norman L. Townsel, Sr., a true builder of men, a father and true friend in so many ways, Dr. H. Donald Cockerham my father in ministry, my friend and confidante. 

I cannot list all of the writers and thinkers who have sewn precious threads of thought into the fabric of my life and writing, but here are a few:

  • Langston Hughes,

  • Jean Toomer

  • Zora Neale Hurston

  • Countee Cullen

  • Malcolm X

  • Nicolas Berdyaev

  • Martin Luther King

  • Abraham Heschel

  • Emil Brunner

  • Harry Beckwith

  • Walter Bruggemann

  • Haki Madhubuti

  • Dr. Howard Thurman

  • Malcolm Gladwell

  • Dr. Frances Cress Welsing and the list goes on, but I will stop here.

 

After the murder of our Son, Gyasi Moyenda Carothers Spotts, I am forever changed and changing.  His murder dug a trench in my soul, dredging up things that I didn’t know were in me. 

Finally, I follow Jesus Christ, the teacher, the man, the demonstrator of faith in human life, the supreme example of humanness, my Lord, and my Savior.  While I reject many of the trappings of traditional practices in our faith tradition as oppressive, abusive, and antithetical to the Way of Christ, I still participate.  “Why,” you may ask? 

I believe that a bad day with people who are discipled by Jesus’ life and teaching is better than a great day with people who are not.  A close friend of mine who is incidentally a pastor recently told me, “I don’t have any problems with the Christians in my Church, not a one, it’s all the other folk who belong to the church I have a hard time with.”

About Me, Garry Spotts