In Fourth grade, my Mom got tired of Defax trying to take us away and we moved to Forest Park. Michale and I enrolled in Fountain Elementary and we lived in apartment 3D. We were two of the only non-black kids at the school. I remember some kids calling me tacky and I wasn’t sure if that was a good thing or not. Times were transitioning pretty slowly into the 90’s and my cheap wardrobe was hilarious to the other students. I had a caucasian teacher named Mr. Holland and that was the same year that Mr. Holland’s Opus came out in theatres. There was a crazy day where one of the students got into a fight with him and jumped on him. The kid bit a chunk of his ear off and they ended up out in the hallway. It was pretty intense.
I used to come home crying every day. The kids picked on me because I wasn’t black. I made a friend with one girl, but she would turn on me as soon as other kids were around. They called me white girl. The counselor at this school had me in her office once and gifted me a bag of new clothes and told me to try them on. They were nice and I kept one of the dresses on for the rest of the day. That afternoon as I was walking in the aisle on the bus to get off, one of the kids yelled “Hey, white girl!” and grabbed my dress by the back of the collar and jerked really hard. It was a button-up dress and the buttons flew off one by one down the whole thing and I had to quickly grab at it to close it together before running off of the bus and straight home.
One day after school, we all got off of the bus and the girl that pretended to be my friend started pushing me around and mocking me in front of everyone. She kept pushing me by my bookbag and saying “Come on, white girl!”, egging me on. Out of frustration, I turned around and punched her right in the nose. She put her hands to her face and ran home crying. She said she thought she heard her mom calling her. I ran home as fast as I could smiling and my sister said that was the first day that I came home and I wasn’t crying.
We ended up moving back to our old house in Riverdale because things weren’t working out at our apartment and I started Fifth grade at James Brown Elementary.
(To Be Continued…)
Lol… Thanks for the picture, Lisa. I do believe I was sick this day.