Evelyn Braxton: Her Many Expressions of Motherhood
Poised with a commanding preacherly presence and distinctive expressions, including “I’m just saying” and “look at God,” one could hardly forget a conversation with Miss E, as she is called by most. Her five girls signed their first record deal as a group with Arista Records in 1989, releasing their one single Good Life the following year. As a solo artist, Toni went on to sell more than 67 million records and earned countless music awards, including seven Grammy Awards, throughout her career. The family has had their lives chronicled on the reality show Braxton Family Vales (WEtv) for the last five years. Tamar has since released a successful album (“Love and War”) and is one of the hosts of The Real talk show on Fox.
Evelyn feels as if her large family was both a gift and a surprise. “My doctor told me and my ex husband that we could only have like one or two children at the most. Lord, where is he now?” she said with a hearty chuckle. “Somebody lied.” Though unexpected, all her children’s birth brought her personal joy but also constant derision from those in church who questioned her choice to have so many children. “People in church would say, ‘You pregnant again?’ I would say, ‘Ain’t God good.’ People would make me feel bad asking, ‘Do you have a job?’ I’m like, ‘Are you feeding me?'”
She described her pregnancies as a “blessing,” adding, “I loved being pregnant. I loved feeling them move inside. I loved the connection. I would sing to my children, and they would kick. I was proud of that little belly. I was proud of that baby. When God chooses you to bring forth life, you have to obey.”
Being the mother of many and having famous children was part of her God-ordained destiny, asserts Evelyn with a seriousness that commanded the attention of all those standing nearby. “God told me they would be a household name. Sometimes the promise and the blessing don’t come right away, but if you wait, have faith and believe, He will bring you out and bring you to your destiny. Look at God; don’t look at me. I was just a vessel. If God cannot do it, it can’t be done. Trust me.”