I was no older than 7 years old, I believe, because my sister Crystal was in her walker and she was figuring it out nearby.
But, I was in trouble for something that happened at school and my Pops was pontificating about it.
And on this day my father’s words echoed, why?
Because he always found a way to effortlessly weave that “one word” into every conversation with a palpable effect.
But, I remembered him bellowing on this day about the perils that I would face as a little Black Boy…
“They may tell you that your nose is too big.”
“Your hair is too nappy.”
“Your skin is too dark.”
“But the one thing they won’t be able to tell you Youngblood – is that you ain’t smart enough. I’m gonna make sure of that. ”
“You are the new blood, you and your brothers gotta set an example for your sisters and look out for each other.”
“That’s why YOU gotta write this over and over, it is mind over matter boy.”
“And it better be neat, 100 times in rows and if it ain’t…”
What was implied, didn’t need to be said and with that he left me to the task.
So between tears and intermittent sobs, I wrote 100 times in pencil on college ruled paper on that day – and multiple occasions after that:
I will be intelligent.
Nearly 4 decades later, I tried to kept the mandate from my Father and procured impeccable penmanship in the deal.
I was a bad ass kid…
To be continued… In the Youngblood Chronicles.
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