Category Archives: Fresh ‘N Ready

she’s white and her bosses are black, and it’s 1977.

Shanti

She was the only black woman at our college party. Tall, muscular, with bittersweet chocolate skin and striking brown eyes that pinned you, like daggers, to your own truth. Everyone noticed Shanti, especially my white Catholic boyfriend. We sat in … Continue reading

Posted in Fresh 'N Ready | 1 Comment

Get Up, Stand Up

We threw open the windows. Our skin baked in the hot summer sun. Sweat soaked our shirts, cooling our backs in the swimming southern heat. We were a crop of do-gooder church Caucasians in our stride, riding down to Greenwood, … Continue reading

Posted in Fresh 'N Ready | Leave a comment

Look Magazine

In the spring of my senior year, I found an article in Look Magazine about Mike Bixby, from Tupelo, Mississippi. His story enticed me. He was a white student who’d chosen to stay in a public high school after it … Continue reading

Posted in Fresh 'N Ready | Tagged | Leave a comment

Counting the creep

Our high school homeroom had four black students out of 21. Some homerooms had five, or six. Nobody was officially counting, but everyone knew what was happening. Our formerly all-white high school had new feeder schools. There was no busing … Continue reading

Posted in Fresh 'N Ready | Leave a comment

Abraham, Martin, and John

I moved the nozzle along the baseboard, soaking each crevice with a clear spray of liquid. The brand name was D-Con, but Dad said the main ingredient was pyrethrin. In Latin, I’d learned, the root word ‘pyra’ meant ‘funeral fire.’ … Continue reading

Posted in Fresh 'N Ready | Leave a comment

Long, Hot Summer

In summer 1967, poetry and music were my obsessions. I read Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickle and listened endlessly to Sgt. Pepper. That spring I’d begun my drift away from straight A’s to B’s, for Boys. In June, … Continue reading

Posted in Fresh 'N Ready | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Your Dad Works in Ni**ertown

During the winter, the Koones let their two cats shit on the basement floor when it was too cold to leave them outside. The Koones lived one block down from us and they had four kids. My brother Allan said … Continue reading

Posted in Fresh 'N Ready | Leave a comment

Walter Cronkite

We sat at the kitchen table having supper. Walter Cronkite was on in the living room, and my parents watched the TV through our kitchen wall cutout. “More trouble,” Dad said. I glanced up from my book, The Shy Stegosaurus. … Continue reading

Posted in Fresh 'N Ready | Leave a comment

Can I have one.

We parked outside a house with drooping gutters and a broken porch railing. Mom grabbed Dad’s lunch box off the front seat. “I swear he’d forget his pants if I didn’t remind him.” She got out, shut the door, and … Continue reading

Posted in Fresh 'N Ready | Leave a comment

Fluorescence

They jumped Double Dutch, while we jumped single line. They were wiry, athletic, and they kicked up their legs so high between the dicing ropes that sometimes we saw their underpants. We were always orderly. We jumped one at a … Continue reading

Posted in Fresh 'N Ready | Leave a comment