Black Short Stories : Mommy, Why Am I Black?

Discussion in 'Short Stories - Authors - Writing' started by Gary James, Jun 21, 2012.


Do you think we have done enough to secure our children's identity?

  1. Yes

    0 vote(s)
  2. No

  3. Not Sure

    0 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Gary James

    Gary James New Member MEMBER

    Jun 21, 2012
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    Poet Author Artist and Domestic Violence Activist
    Carteret NJ
    The story of a young girl getting in-touch with her race for the first time.

    She moves to the end of the table in the school cafeteria. The other girls shift down a few more places to get away from her. This is the kind of treatment Wendy has been dealing with since she started middle school. She knows that Britney doesn’t like her, as they had fought only a few days ago and both of them were given stern warnings by their teacher Miss Hudson. She managed to build up a tolerance to the name-calling, as long as it was coming from Britney. But when she heard one of the new girls called her the name, “Charcoal” that’s when it really got to her. She could see girls with their hands over their mouths as she walked by. She couldn’t take it anymore; she ran to the restroom, locked herself in one of the stalls and cried.

    With tears running down her cheeks, she removed her hand from her face, turned her hands over, and took a closer look at her skin. In her little mind she could not understand why anyone would have a problem with her even skin tone, especially when the lighter skin girls would have to run to put on sun-block when the sun gets really hot, and she doesn’t. Wendy sat there for a while thinking whether or not to tell her mother, she knows that they cannot afford to move again and she really did not want to upset her mother as she believed that she, Wendy, was the reason they moved in the first place.

    Brenda lived in the Deep South, it was only 2 years ago that she moved to Atlanta to get away from the harsh treatment she received while working for a racist chef at a high class restaurant. She stuck it out and put up with the abuse from the job because she wanted to make sure that her daughter Wendy, was well taken care of and being out of work for the entire first year in her new city, she knew that jobs weren’t exactly falling off trees. Being a black single mother was difficult to say the least and fighting everyday to prove herself worthy to a chef who doesn't care much for her, was very exhausting. On her lunch break she realized the she would not be able to pick up Wendy from school, so she took out her cell phone and call her twin sister.

    “Hey sis, how are you on this hot summer morning?”

    “I’m sorry to trouble you but one of the cooks’ called out and the chef asked me to work his shift, so I wouldn’t be able to pick up Wendy from school, do you mind picking her up for me?”

    “You should know better than that, of course I wouldn’t mind, shoot, you've just giving me an excuse to get out of the house and spend some time with my favorite niece.”

    “Favorite niece, you have only one.”

    “And I’m going to spoil her rotten.”

    “You've already done enough damage with that rap nonsense you listen to on the radio.”

    “I am trying to show her the real world, you can’t shelter her forever?"

    “Anyway I will talk to you later, you can pick her up at the regular time thanks again, love you much.”

    “Love you too.”

    Sharon and Brenda are identical twins. They have been inseparable since birth and they pretty much do everything together, so much so that when Brenda decided to move to Atlanta, Sharon moved right along with her. Both ladies are in their early thirties, young, vibrant African American women who looks to what seems to be an uncertain future in a fast pace city. Whenever they would get together, they would often talk about how things were when they were growing up, and how much more difficult it's becoming for the next generation. The subject of men, Black men to be exact, would be the last thing to be discussed. Brenda is very aware of the lack thereof, in the Black community; she knows that the absence of Wendy’s father has taken its toll on her, that is why she is doing her best to show her how to be self-sufficient and not to rely on any man. She knows that Wendy’s watches her every move and she can only dodge the question “Where is daddy?” for so long.


  2. baller

    baller Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Jan 28, 2001
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    the near north
    they moved to Atlanta two years ago. where did they move from?

    love the subject matter. so many of us are taught to believe in ourselves but we're not taught to deal with the negatives thrown at us when we're children. ergo...we lash out...we fight. i'm not saying that fighting is wrong--in some cases, it's just what the doctor ordered--but because we throw the first punch, we give the system an out in justifying their stance in going against us...sitting us back a step or two in our efforts to get to where we want to be. knowing other ways to deal with an a$$hole is a plus...until we can get them on our territory--where we can react the way we want without having the sysem come down on us. yeah, i would make a terrible role model, i know.

    anyway, too many of our children are asking that question, "why i gotta be black, anyway?"

    most of them ask that question when they're not around their people enough...or because they haven't been taught the history of their people...or haven't had the pride of a nation instilled in them. i'm interested to see how you attack that problem.

    BTW, welcome to the playground.

    waiting for part two.