If I am asked whether or not I’m patriotic, I’d say that I am, without question. I love my country. However, it’s hard to be a Black woman in America who has lived on the East and West coasts, the South and Midwest and not have stipulations attached to my patriotism.
I was born and raised in Detroit at a time when the city was going through a transformation. By the time I was old enough to attend school, racial uprisings were in full effect. Black Power was going strong and we were living it out to its fullest, from promoting Black literature through Dudley Randall’s Broadside Press to marches and public platforms to the increase of public service, education and first responders. By 4th grade, Coleman Young, our first Black mayor, had been elected.
A new sense of pride was looming in the air. Motown was still poppin’. Even my mom, while studying for a degree in a conservative field like accounting, was in the Miss Soul Pageant, displaying her cultural and social identity.
My teachers didn’t just teach the three Rs, we learned Black history, public speaking, cultural awareness (thanks Edythe Chapman & Calvin Summers) in performing arts class. My science teacher, Mrs. Lois Woods, was a smart and beautiful young Black woman. We learned about the diverse styles of our music and sub-genres from the incredible, no nonsense music teacher, Ms. Faye Joyce Davis.
You may wonder what any of this has to do with the presidency right?
Well…Each night, my bedtime reading is The Washington Post. Who, by the way, can thank President Trump for their resurgence of great editorial content as these hopeful fictitious acts morph into reality each day.
My grade school memories were so incredible, thanks to the teachers at Keidan Elementary School, that I learned life’s lessons that are a part of my internal fiber. We were taught to love our country with all of its flaws and injustices, while learning that someday this country would be ours to manage and mold.
But never could Ms. Asher, my kindergarten teacher, have told me we’d be trying to understand politics and our roles as we watch the leader of the free world give orders via his cell phone. I don’t believe Ms. Chapman would have said speaking to the press and public about life-threatening concerns like healthcare would be led off by a letter written by a 9-year-old named Pickles.
I’m sure the life’s lessons encouraging us to follow the “golden rule” never anticipated a character like “The Mooch.”
I read these articles after nightfall, which might not be a good idea since it doesn’t always support healthy dream patterns.
But I think there is something subliminal that keeps me hoping this night reading might turn the bad realities into dreams and I’ll wake up to discover none of this really ever happened.