Mutht Unrah Nu

Celebrating the Life of Mutht Unrah Nu

There is a West African Proverb that says: Some are kissing mothers, and some are scolding mothers, but it is love just the same. And most mothers kiss and scold together. Mutht Unrah, means mother of all mothers and if you know Mutht, you know she was both a kissing mother and a scolding mother. And she did everything out of Love.

1948, the year that changed the lives of many but especially Charles “Cherokee” Bowman Sr., and Evelyn Gertrude (Williams) Bowman.  On September 16, a Queen was born, Mutht Unrah Nu {birth name: Linda Patricia Bowman} in Astoria, Queens.  She was the oldest child of the tribe called Bowman.  Mutht affectionately called Sistah Nu, graduated from Long Island City High School, of Queens, NY.  After graduating out of the NYC school system, Mutht and her family moved to Roosevelt, Long Island, NY. It was then she met Robert Shaw Sr, and from that union they had a son, Robert Shaw Jr, also known as Akh Amen. Eleven years later she met Real Nu, and from that union they had two daughters Anunu and Keket.

In addition to caring for her biological children, Mutht’s Love extended far and wide to children she cared for as her own, Ustem and Heb; Ma’anet, Seseni, Mekter and Un-Nefer. This alone demonstrates the loving and nurturing character of Mutht, establishing the epitome of an African family structure.

In the 1980’s, Mutht was a social activist and mentor.  She was a Garvey-ite and an honorable member of the Pan Africanism Movement.  She and her daughters often participated in the Marcus Garvey Day parade and other events that contributed to the movement.

Mutht was a Spiritual and God-fearing woman. She was no stranger to hard work; while she had a full life as a mother and caregiver, she also had time to serve her community. She worked with several community outreach programs and was a member of various organizations like Sister’s in the Struggle. She later retired from the Nassau County Police Department as a 911 operator for over 20 years.   

After retirement, Mutht began to stamp up her passport.  She visited Ghana twice, cruised at least twice a year to the Caribbean Islands, Alaska and other states within the US. She was also a lover of many genres of music-depending on her mood you could hear Old School R&B, Gospel, Jazz or House music all in one setting. She knew how to have a good time, she knew how to party, and she lived her life like its Golden. She was an entrepreneur who became a self-taught Loctician and started her own business: “Nu-Locs”.  She had a large clientele and was featured in hair magazines showcasing her craft. 

If you know Mutht, you know she is a lover of African Art, textile, statues and artifacts.  Over the years she has built an immense collection of these things, visiting her home has always been a cultural experience.  Additionally, you would almost always find her in fly custom African attire. Mutht was also known for her cooking and baking talents.  She could be found baking banana bread, her famous blueberry peach cobbler and sweet potato pies that made you forget about Patti. 

Mutht leaves to cherish in her memory 1 son Robert Shaw Jr (Akh Nu) of Maryland, (2) Daughters Anunu Auset Nu of Roosevelt NY, Keket Tua (Justin) Sheares of Freeport NY, 2 Grandsons Xah Burgess and Justin Sheares. (7) Sisters: Theresa Smith of Yonkers, NY; Linda (Vincent) Whitelock of Lexington, OH; Denise Cox of New Haven, CT; Lorna (Lee) Hargrove of Norfolk, VA; Traci Bowman of Bayshore NY; Michelle and Melissa Jones of St Albans, NY. (3) Brothers: William Calhoun Jr. of Florida; Kevin Calhoun of Freeport NY; and David Calhoun Sr (Stephanie) of Hempstead NY; (1) Sister-in-law Esther Bowman of Freeport NY. (2) Aunts: Arneitha (Alphonza) Holmes Brooklyn, NY; Annie Bowman of South Carolina (4) Uncles: William Davidson of the Bronx, NY; Bertie Bowman, Larry Bowman and Jimmy-Lee Bowman all of MD and DC. (35) Nieces and Nephews (32) Great-Nieces and Nephews and (1) Great-Great niece, (1) Great-Great nephew, (1) Godson, and special caretaker Renae Barnes, and a host of Family and Friends. Besides her parents Sistah Nu was predeceased by her Step-Father, William Calhoun Sr, (4) Brothers; Charles Bowman Jr, Larry Bowman, George Bowman and Steven Bowman; Aunt: “Sister” E.P Bowman, Aunt Eva Edmondson, Aunt Viola Lucas and Kevin A Smith (brother in-law).

Mutht has left us with a void that only God can fill.  Seventy-Two precious, beautiful years were her allotment from God.  We have this hope that we will be reunited with her on that Great Day when death will no longer separate us.