Early 1900's anywhere in Anytown USA.
Where ya goi'n boy? Big Mo kept on walking because he just wasn't in the mood to be dealing with some redneck cra-ker on a hot and muggy afternoon. He had just finished putting in another long hard days work in the plant and the only thing on his mind right now, was getting home to his wife and kids, taking a shower and sitting down to have a nice home cooked meal. After which he would go out on the front porch, enjoy a nice cool drink, watch the kids play around for a while before calling it another day. But before he could even entertain any of that, he had to deal with this irritating ignorant cra-ker...
Hey nig-er, you hear me talk'in to ya? I said where ya goi'n? Big Mo was taking long full long strides, trying to put some distance between them as he wanted to reach the bus before the confrontation he knew was imminent caught up with him. He could see the bus pulling up to the stop but he was just not close enough to get on and avoid what was coming. Da-n, he thought to himself, out of all the days to have to possibly be late getting home for dinner. You see this day was also a special occasion for Big Mo and his wife Mattie. They were soon to be the proud owners of a new home and this would be the night to celebrate.. It didn't matter that he still had to rely on public transportation to get around because ownership of a home is what he and his wife, Mattie had always dreamed of. It would give them a sense of security and it would be theirs..Not too many Black folk owned their homes in that time but they would be one of the few that did..Yes, this was indeed caused for celebration...First things first though...
Big Mo came to an abrupt stop, whirled his huge frame of a body around and glared with an incessant disdain and annoyance directly into the eyes of his insolent pursuer and said, what you want with me? I ain't doing nothing but trying to get home to my wife and kids. Unfortunately Big Mo wouldn't make it home this night. He had dared question a white man and did so in a manner that was considered challenging to the authority and superiority of this nobody cra-ker. A heated exchange between the two would ensue and it would draw the unwanted attention of other white folk. Soon afterwards a mob of curious and angry white men would gather around and the instigator would accuse Big Mo of being an uppity nig-er who needed to be taught a lesson. They would collapse around Big MO as he tried to fend them off but they beat him down and take him out to the woods to string him up. He wouldn't be celebrating with his wife tonight, he wouldn't be sitting down to enjoy his dinner with his family, sitting out on the porch sipping a cool drink while his children played and he and his family never know the experience of owning their own home.
He would never live to breathe another day in Anytown USA. All because of the ignorance and racist vile that has permeated the air throughout American society and has profusely stained its soil with the innocent blood of ( too many to count ) black men and women in this country. This is a short story that is all to reminiscent of what it is like to be Black and living in a white dominated society. This has an oh so familiar ring to it does it not? The scenario has been played out time and time again in this white dominated world in one way or another.
Let's fast forward 100 years plus and we are still experiencing the same racist vitriol. The perpetrators today are in the uniforms of Law enforcement. Whether it is walking, driving, jogging, shopping or playing in a department store or a park with a play gun, having the dark skin is an open invitation for harassment and possible death. Just the mere suspicion of guilt by law enforcement or any white citizen today, ( just as it was back then ) appears to be cause enough to justify murder....It appears that we have gone from the noose to the bullet and we can't seem to shake it....We pray for the families of those innocent Black lives who have left this planet so abruptly at the hands of racism and indifference to life. We must feel a compelling duty to eradicate our society of this insensitivity to human life on both sides of the paradigm...
We are all Big Mo's, Mattie's, their family and some of us may never make it back home. This my people is the sometimes unavoidable and undeniable brevity of life for Black folk.
All prayers to the most high for strength and courage as we embark on a new meaningful course for the Black Diaspora..
Written by; Al Deveaux Jr. Africafifth
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