Interview: Sister Antona Ebo
A conversation with the first African-American nun to run a hospital and a pivotal figure in the Civil Rights Movement who has inspired others by bravely living the change she wants to see in the world.
What is your current mood?
I wake up each day and listen to what God wants, and then I live it as a witness by serving humanity.
What makes you happy?
Talking to young people.
What is your idea of misery?
The burden we’ve put on the shoulders of one young, black man who is trying to make change but just keeps hearing the word “no” instead.
What did you eat for breakfast today?
Coffee and toast.
What words describe you?
Come, listen, live and witness.
What is a message for young people today who want to do selfless service?
Enter to learn, leave to serve.
What trait do you value most in others?
Courage, zeal and fidelity.
What’s your favorite occupation?
Being able to be a service to others and making people smile.
What question should we be asking ourselves today?
“What do I have to offer that makes this a better day for someone else?”
What’s your favorite color?
Light shade of blue.
What is your favorite food?
Spaghetti that has a zing to it.
If you could have dinner with anyone (dead or alive), who would that be?
Depends on what they’re cookin’.
What talent do you wish you had?
The ability to sketch.
What artist has been a spiritual inspiration for you?
Painting by Michelangelo, which I see as God reaching out to us and the invitation to come.
What do you consider a turn off?
The word “tolerance.” I think it’s saying “I’ll put up with you, but I’d rather not have you around.” I know maybe it’s the first step, but it just seems like it’s saying “I think I’m a little better than you.”
What do you love?
I love people. I love God.
What are you most looking forward to?
Going home to God, but I’m not in a hurry.
What is one thing you wish would happen?
We’d all love one another. It begins with knowing each other and then loving and serving one another. If we know each other a whole lot better, then we’ll treat each other with reverence and respect.
What is your personal motto?
Be the change you want to see.
What is your favorite word?
What have I been sayin’ honey? “Love.”
What is your least favorite word?
What’s something you want to do before you die?
I know it sounds kind of Pollyanna, but to love everybody. I think I could keep working on that one.
Who is someone you admire?
Sojourner Truth, who had the courage to ask, “Ain’t I a woman?”
What is something you think should change?
Psalm 1:33; we need to learn to love one another.
Sister Antona Ebo
Photo credit: Photography by Wesley Law