Monday, January 21, 2008

My Papa


I wasnt more than 6 years old when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was killed in 1968. And It aint easy to remember things that happened when you was six years old. But I will try. Papa had just moved the whole family out to California to live with his sister, my aunt Althea just a few years before that around 1965. To tell you the truth, I didn't even really understand who Dr. King was until my second grade teacher assigned my class to do a little presentation about our heros. Now I didnt have no hero so I went and asked papa who his hero was. That was the first time he ever talked to me about how bad things had been for him growing up. Daddy had grown up in Selma, so he knew a thing or two about how bad things were for us black folks in those days. I suspect he probably saw some things that he didnt ever tell me about because when I was a teenager I asked him if he had ever saw a lynching and he just got real mad telling me to thank the lord that I didnt have to worry about such things like that. Well, I didnt have to worry but Papa sure had had to. Papa had grewn up right in the middle of all that mess. Its hard for me to even imagine.

When I got up in class that next day I told my class what my daddy had told me. I said that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had brought together all the churches in Alabama and given black people a way to fight back that he learned from Ghandi and because of him we could ride in any part of the bus that we wanted to ride in. The End. As a young girl growing up in a California I didnt understand whats so great about riding in buses! and I surely didnt know who Ghandi was! But I just told it the way my papa had taught me anyhow. I remember my white teacher Mr. G giving me an A+ for that report and telling the whole class what a brave man my papa was. I felt very proud of papa then. I gave my papa a big hug when I got home and told him that the A+ that WE had earned together. I really miss my papa.

Turns out I had a hero all along.

2 comments:

hobo said...

Your Papa sounds like a good man.

WhatsHerName said...

I miss my dad too, Getting old sucks! I can relate to these kinds of stories Mama, but I think you should stick to stories about the RSP... Its a big responsibility I know- but no one else is doing it really... just you.

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The good lord blessed me with 5 wonderful kids. They are my life and my strength and I don't tolerate nobody messin with my kids. I am one two fisted mama bear that you dont wanna mess with! I've lived in Santa Ana all my life and I've seen it change from pretty good to bad to worse, and now that we finally got a plan to fix things some scared people wanna screw it all up. Well I say we got nowhere to go but up. Im tired of the crime. I'm tired of the drugs.This town is my home and I aint never leaving it- but that dont mean that I like what its become. I like nice things same as anybody. How come we cant have a nice downtown like that Orange Circle up there? Or that downtown fullerton? We're more historic, been around longer, got more tax dollars to spend than any of those places. Why not build us a downtown like it says up there on that water tower? I say its time to PIMP THIS HOOD.