Sunday, 10 February 2008

I Remember

I remember my life in America.

I remember the looks I would get. You don't belong here.

I remember walking to my friends house in Darien Connecticut and being repeatedly pulled over by the police and being repeatedly asked where I was going and who I worked for.

I remember food shopping when a woman cut in line. I remember my mother pointing it out and the woman responding, “Niggers think they own this place”. I remember wondering what the word Nigger meant but being too afraid to ask.

I remember being encouraged by my hippy English teacher to enter into a Shakespeare recitation contest. I remember preparing and pouring my heart into it. I remember an elderly woman with a sweet smile and silver hair coming up to me at the end and congratulating me on my bravery. I remember her looking me dead in my eyes, hands on both of my shoulders and telling me to go home and tell all of my friends about what I had done. She had assumed I was from the Ghetto. I was raised in private schools in Marin County California and Fairfield County Connecticut. I remember wishing she had just told me I had done a good job and left it at that.

I remember telling everyone my father was dead because I was too embarrassed to be just another Black kid who's father wasn't in her life.

I remember falling in love and being told that it was not suitable for me to be anything other than her son's friend. I then remember her smiling and offering me cookies.

I remember my mother telling me that I would have to work twice as hard as all the others. I remember her saying that while I will always be seen, I will never be recognized or rewarded. I remember her being right on far too many occasions.

I remember the surgeries, the pain, the seizures.

I remember giving up on it all.

I remember my mother by my side.

I cant do this.

Yes You Can.

I remember leaving this earth. It was not like they said. There was no light. It was calm and dark and I could hear the surgeons speaking

I cant stop the bleeding.

I cant control the pressure.

I remember thinking

Yes You Can.

And when I came back, I remember my mother words

You did it. I knew could.

I remember loosing all hope in America. I remember not caring anymore. I remember giving up, never to return home again.

Then I heard the words again...

Yes We Can.

And I heard the song and the speech and for a split second I stood in my stance, with my hands on my hips and head held high...

Because for the 1st time EVER IN MY LIFE...

I was proud to be American. I was proud of my country. I was moved. I was fundamentally part of something that I was so far from. Part of a country I have always felt separated from.

I can put aside everything for a real movement. Those shivers that run up and down my spine are not those of fear. They are those of excitement.

There has been a vast aura of inspiration rotating recently.

People are fighting the odds.

The power to inspire.

Can you feel it?

Yes, I can.


K.V. said...

Come home, this is a very moving experience! I just returned to the US after 5 years of living in Europe. And believe Europe is so racist that even seems to just ignore it.
I so proud of the young people that are involved in this election. My mom said Barack didn't stand a chance and now she's not only a believer but actively involved.
So come home....the waters are just fine over here.

Mélanie said...

I'm european ! and I don't agree with KV !
I think we all have a dream ...and even if I'm not american I hope this dream will come true