Except when her mother would give her home permanents.
This process involved bobby pins and strong chemical smells ending with curls in a swirl around her head.
Her bangs were cut straight across the middle of her forehead.
She hated it.
She wanted long hair but her mother wouldn’t allow it.
Why do mothers do this to their children?
Her grown-up self today glances in the mirror and asks…
“Who is that woman in the mirror?”
“When did the wrinkles come and when did my hair turn silver?”
The little girl inside herself never really thought about how her face would change.
She never thought that her face would be like her grandmother’s. She for sure didn’t think about wrinkles.
Today this grownup woman listens to those younger parts of herself say:
“Wow, what happened to your face?”
“What are those lines on your face and where did they...
These days I’ve been noticing that I don’t know what to say. To the people who have been silenced for so long.
I see their rage and fury.
I know these feelings are deeply rooted in our collective history. I grew up in South Georgia, in a small town called Millen, in the 50s and 60s.
I knew even as a child that I had rights and privileges that black people did not have.
No one had to say the words out loud that they thought blacks were inferior (although many did).
I could never understand the inequity or the reason for this kind of thinking. I’m ashamed that this was the ideology I grew up around. I am sick to my stomach that these were the messages I received.
I was taught to just accept things as they were.
“Colored people are separate and less than whites.”
This is the way was. No explanation.
I use the word ‘colored’ because this was the word that was used at the time....