Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Yesterday Belle and I had an impromptu play date with a woman from our church and her granddaughter.  We know this family just enough to know we attend the same church and we are neighbours.  I suggested we all walk up to our community park after a chance meeting in my court.  The woman asked, "You live here?"  By the time we'd reached the park, she'd decided that Belle and I were borders renting out one room in this house.  Once again, the residents of Alameda automatically assume I am someone else.

Belle and I live on the more impoverished side of the island.  Planned communities full of working families of all colors and incomes aside, many [blacks] live off public assistance in public housing nearby.  While there isn't any shame there, I find it troubling how some people let their minds go there when they meet me.  It's happened so much these past several years, particularly since having Belle on my own.  It is painfully clear I am not expected to be or do more than have a child or two and stay small.

I challenge the perception some people have of women and of blacks.  I have met some narrow minded people over the years.  Again, I haven't met with empathy or understanding because I am not easy to categorize.  I am an iconoclast.  Some people, men especially, have felt threatened by me because my story is unique.  Uniqueness, therefore, has been misinterpreted as dirty, shameful and wrong.  I am sure my family didn't anticipate such response when they created the conditions that have shaped me.

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