Chittlin's and Chopsticks

Writer and mother, Terris McMahan Grimes, the Mother From Another Continent, an her friends share their slighty off kilter parenting views and their takes on a whole lot of other things.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Heads in Trees

Years ago a friend said, when he was a little boy, he used to hang out with the old guys. He figured one day one of them would slip and say something that would reveal to him, once and for all, what black folks had done to whites to make them hate us so much.

I remember thinking he’d been wasting his time. First of all, there was no one thing beyond our continued presence here after the job was done. The cotton had been picked, the buildings built, the houses cleaned and the babies raised–now go home!

Secondly he was hanging out with the wrong group. If he really wanted to know the real deal about anything, he should have been hanging out with the old women. I love old black women. Is there any other group on the planet who can cut through the crap with greater precision?

I’ve had a hero for years in an old sister girl who’d been accosted in her home. I saw her on the evening news. She shot and killed the intruder. An interviewer asked her was she sorry she killed him. The camera zoomed in as the stately grandmother thought about it.

“Well, I woke up and he was standing over me in my bedroom. I didn’t invite him and I didn’t know him. What we got to talk about?”

What indeed.

I’ve got a new hero, maybe not to replace Stately Grandmother but to add to the pack. My daughter and I were channel surfing on Friday, the day before St. Patrick’s day. We stopped on a news item, I assume, that showed a group of mostly black folks standing around a big tree.

The interviewer gave the microphone to a young person who claimed a leprechaun had been spotted in the tree. As I’m sure you can imagine, that got my attention. The interviewer went to several people all claiming to have seen said leprechaun. The interviewer wasn’t convinced. Finally he stuck the mike into the car window of an older black woman. I don’t know if she was coming or going, but she certainly wasn’t standing around joining in the festive atmosphere. What did she think?

“It was probably some crackhead that got hold of some bad stuff and climbed a tree.”

So there you have it. If you really want to know, ask an old sister girl.

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At 3/18/2007 5:49 PM , Blogger Dave said...

The voice of real? :)

At 3/22/2007 8:08 AM , Blogger Pearl said...

Straight talk from a grand old woman is a treasure.


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