African American grandparents, particularly grandmothers, have historically played a pivotal role in African American families (Frazier, 1939; Huling, 1978; White, 1985). For example, in her recent anthology of poems, Maya Angelou (1990) salutes the strengths of and challenges to African American grandmothers, whom she describes as follows: These momma faces, lemon-yellow, plum-purple, honey-brown, have grimaced and twisted down a pyramid of years. She is Sheba and Sojourner, Harriet and Zora, Mary Bethune and Angela, Annie to Zenobia. She stands before the abortion clinic, confounded by the lack of choices. 102In the Welfare line, reduced to the pity of handouts. Ordained in the pulpit, shielded by the mysteries. In the operating room, husbanding life. In the choir loft, holding God in her throat. On lonely street corners, hawking her body. In the classroom, loving the children to understanding. Centered on the world’s stage, she sings to her loves and beloveds, to her foes and detractors: However I am perceived and deceived, however my ignorance and conceits, lay aside your fears that I will be undone, for I shall not be moved.