By Hasan Salaam
GeeGee was the foundation of my family. The qualities she possessed are evident in all of the generations to follow. She settled our family in Camden, New Jersey in the early 1900s. GeeGee started out as a domestic worker in other people's homes. She translated that to opening her own soul food kitchen in Philly with her famous crab cakes and other recipes. She also worked her way up from housekeeping to being the 1st Black Woman to be a Component Tester at RCA.
I learned about hard work, being independent and owning my own destiny from her. She showed and proved that family and community mattered most; she wouldn't just sweep the stoop she would sweep the whole block. She was a no nonsense independent woman at a time when it wasn't celebrated. She treated all the kids in the neighborhood as her own, meaning you might get candy or you might get your tail whooped depending on your behavior. The thing I remember most is that she loved dogs, this picture of her and her pit brings back all the memories and lessons.