Story written by Phillip L. Wright Ph.D.
My Grandmother, of native Heritage, was born on Christmas day December 1894. Her birth name was Bessie Hunter, and after marriage her sir name became Akins after marrying Grandpa Harvey Akins from Cairo, Georgia. Grandma, known as Mother Bessie Akins, died in 1959. She was 65-years old. Most of her life She was an Evangelist teaching the Bible and singing in churches all over cities of Miami: North Miami, Kendall, Coconut Grove, Perrine, and many other cities in the state of Florida. She had a tremendous following of Christians and others who made their way to listen to her teach from the Bible. One of her favorite sayings whenever she finished her Bible teaching presentation was: No Pain No Gain and then she would begin to sing with great spirit from her God Given voice from her heart. My experience is my youngest sibling named Bessie, but known as Betty Wright, did that very same thing, teaching from the Holy Bible with the public invited to her home every Thursday evening. She named it Thankful Thursdays. She was also an Ordained Minister and an Evangelist. Betty, like grandma, was also born in December but on the 21st 1953. I noticed all of the similar characteristics between Grandma Bessie, and Granddaughter Bessie known as Betty as the years progressed. On the day Betty was to arrive home from the hospital, I ran home 5 blocks to our house – the Liberty Square Housing Development – from elementary school to see who I called my baby. When I got home, my mother was sitting on the couch with Betty (Bessie) next to her lying on a blanket asleep. I asked my mother if I could take Betty upstairs and put her in her crib. She replied yes but don’t drop her. I proudly answered OK mama. I wasn’t surprised at my age of 8 years that my mother would trust me to do that. I went very carefully walking with Betty up the 14 steps to her crib and placed her on her back. She raised up her head and looked directly in my face and tried to speak to me using syllables. Startled and Excited at her immediate and most awesome behavior, I ran downstairs to tell my mother what I had just experienced. I said to her, Mama, that baby is going to be so famous all over the world and everybody will know who she is. You see, I just happened to be her sibling who had a spiritualistic vision and interest in how my sister Betty seemed to have been here before, and just beginning her life at 3 days of her infancy. By the time she was 2 years old when our mother took us to record a gospel song that our mother wrote, Betty could sing in key and on time with the rest of our family gospel singing group that our mother organized. Mother trained us to sing together in harmony and she named us the Echoes of Joy. As time progressed I automatically started to practice Betty every day with me playing the guitar and we begun to sound pretty darn good, just the two of us. We began to practice each day with Bettys’ motivated enthusiasm with her grown up voice. Wen Betty was only 7 years old until she was about 10. Little did I know, 2 years later, Betty had started recording singing background on recordings and beginning to sing leading songs in her voice. During that period, I had already moved to Boston with Comedian Flip Wilson and a calypso band. Later I joined my brothers’ band the Afro beats playing guitar in the same night club in Boston. Returning back to Miami, four years later at the age of 22, I joined King Curtis and the Kingpins band that recorded on records with Areatha Franklin. I had to moved to New York city beginning my first world tour with them and Cissy Houston and her background group the Sweet Inspirations. I had replaced Jimi Hendrix with that band. During my exciting new career. I lived downstairs under a new friend named James Baldwin. I was amazed at Bettys’ awesome music career developing at such a young age as I had also done. I guess I became well known as a celebrity playing my guitar and singing and writing songs too as her band director. Together She influenced me too.
Returning back to my story about reincarnation, just as I envisioned, Betty did become famous as a musician, song writer, Music Producer, Recording Artist, Record company owner with her own Record Lable and I could go on and on with many other Professional accolades Betty earned. She coached Gloria Estefan how to use her voice singing, and assisted her with background voices when Gloria needed them. Gloria also asked Betty if she would join her on her first tour to Russia after her back accident, and Betty agreed. Josh Stone was also a protegeéé of Betty. Betty and I recorded music an we toured the world performing songs and music, as the rest of our siblings, Charles, Milton, Jeannette and her son Antonio did too. Betty erned multi Grammy Awards, and many other types of accolades too.
Betty became ill from cancer on Mothers day of 2020 and died at the young age of 66 years old. My remarkable vision is just as I believe that my sister Betty (Bessie) was the true reincarnation of our Grandmother Bessie Hunter Akins. What are your thoughts? I believe it is very much Possible.
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