Where I'm From

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Absence of my father allows me to horse around
I’m from a home with no solid foods available, instead mush and lard gravy
Kate Adams, the ship boarded to dock in Memphis sustains segregation between the white and black folks
I walk outside to see the “chain gang”—the elephants who look for trouble
Down the street I spy the Saloon that supplies shelves of tempting alcohol
I fear white folks and feel an inferior complexity within their presence
Mama always tells me, “You’re a fool”
I don’t ever receive pity money from my own father, especially after what he’s done to us
In desperate need of literary texts to read; I strive to learn
After supervising the delivery of coal by the ‘Coalman’, the invited stranger teaches me how to count
Mama has strokes and falls into a state of paraplegic palsy continuously
I choose to live with Uncle Clark while Mama is cared for by her siblings in Granny’s house
Uncle Clark is determined to provide stability for me, too bad I return home after awhile
Once I return to Granny’s house, I frantically search for a variety of jobs
I am required to respond to the white folks with a “yes sir/ma’am” and “no sir/ma’am”
One of the many jobs I obtain is performing a diverse range of chores given by a white lady
She asks me if I steal and states how I’ll “never be a writer”, I hope to prove her wrong.
I’m from Jackson, yet locate towards Beale Street and find room in Mrs. Moss’s house
There, I am introduced to Bess who is convinced that I am the love of her life
To escape the suffocation and pressure of Mrs. Moss’ persistence, I look for a job
I find work in an Optical Trade Company where Mr. Crane is eager to hire an Algebraic mathematician
As soon as I familiarize myself in the company, Mr. Pease and Reynolds oppress my blackness by abusing their authority; forcibly, I resign
I come across a building and begin work immediately by running errands and cleaning eyeglasses
Trouble ahead, Mr. Olin insists I “knife it out” with Harrison, another errand (black) boy from a rival company across the street
I’m from an unstable workplaces, where Harrison and I are forcibly persuaded to box one another—four rounds for five dollars. Bruised and feeling hatred toward myself, I earned easy yet dirty money.
Aunt Maggie and I decide to move Chicago, following the arrival of my paralyzed mother and brother





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