Eighth day of Black History Month: The First Lady

You wanna feel the wrath of a black woman…do something to her son.

My earliest grasp of this concept was when some kid in St. Clair Village  had the nerve to hit me with a pole and ran.  I was out in the hall way playing with my Evel Knevel motorcycle.  Needless to say, I was a bit stunned and bloody and sans Toy when she came upstairs from the laundry room.  (mind you this was 1975, about the LAST time you could actually let your child out of your sight for more than 15 seconds)

My mother stalked that project for an hour, softball bat in hand, until she found the 8 year old who did the deed.  promptly traced him down to a somewhat responsible adult figure and proceeded to give him exactly what for.

Of course, NOW Mama Ink is an Ordained Minister, but don’t think for a second she won’t STILL get with you should the situation call for it.

Was my mother perfect?  No.  But show me a mistake she made in raising me and I’ll show you a chipped brick in the Pyramids.

Is that to say that I am a perfect product?  Psh….be serious.  It just means I am a Black man who can’t look back to his childhood and point to a parenting deficienc y as the reason why this or that isn’t right.

I bring up mama today because she called at the crack of ass (her favorite time of day to do so) to check on son #1 post-surgery (Im doing pretty well, thanks.) and I was thinking of her as I saw for the fourth time today the  Privilege test.  Its a bit dated but it’s still telling.

When you were in college:

If your father went to college, take a step forward. (If he dropped out before he met my mother, does that count?

If your father finished college  <–little late for that now.

If your mother went to college

If your mother finished college  <–My mother and I are racing to finish now.  she will probably beat me.

If you have any relative who is an attorney, physician, or professor.

If you were the same or higher class than your high school teachers  <–nope  I thought my teachers were RICH.

If you had a computer at home

If you had your own computer at home  <–I didnt even have Nintendo.

If you had more than 50 books at home

If you had more than 500 books at home  <—Library Card.

If were read children’s books by a parent <—-indeed indeed then I was reading to her.

If you ever had lessons of any kind

If you had more than two kinds of lessons

If the people in the media who dress and talk like me are portrayed positively

If you had a credit card with your name on it <–when i was in College my MOTHER didnt have a credit card.

If you have less than $5000 in student loans

If you have no student loans

If you went to a private high school

If you went to summer camp

If you had a private tutor

If you have been to Europe

If your family vacations involved staying at hotels

If all of your clothing has been new and bought at the mall

If your parents bought you a car that was not a hand-me-down from them

If there was original art in your house <—There was barely unoriginal art in the house

If you had a phone in your room

If you lived in a single family house

If your parent own their own house or apartment

If you had your own room

If you participated in an SAT/ACT prep course  <—It was free

If you had your own cell phone in High School <—I wouldnt have if they had been invented.  I didnt even have my own phone in the house.

you had your own TV in your room in High School

If you opened a mutual fund or IRA in High School or College

If you have ever flown anywhere on a commercial airline

If you ever went on a cruise with your family

If your parents took you to museums and art galleries

If you were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family. <–I knew they were too much and that we spent the winter fully dressed (pajamaed and slippers and a robe at night) but how much the bills were only was known if you were paying them.  and once I dropped out of school, I was.

 

After this, I realized that while my privilege was very limited what privilege I did enjoy was given to me at great sacrifice by my mother because she KNEW that me being gifted wasn’t going to be enough all by itself and that I needed to be exposed to a lot more stuff.  And for that, I am eternally grateful and will pass that along to my sons.

 

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