Coming of Age Stories

[0]

Lord, we were black and poor, so you know what they called
us. ...Always have some 'mad money' on you in case a man
leaves you somewhere. ...In case a man pushes you out his
car. ...At an intersection. ...In the middle of a suburb.
...A suburb with no street signs and no cab stands. ...A
suburb where all the houses are dark with sameness.
...Always wear clean underwear. ...If you need help, find a
church. ...If there's a bus, it just might be your friends
who throw you under it.



[1]

Always have some 'mad money' on you in case a man leaves you
somewhere. ...In case a man pushes you out his car. ...A
suburb where all the houses are dark with sameness. ...In
case there is a tornado. ...My name is Bess and I ain't in
that mess. ...In case the bus crashes. ...If you need help,
find a church. ...Find a Baptist church. Black folks'll be
there.. ...Keep one eye open on your so-called friends.
...My own mama worked in white folks' houses all her life.
...Into the Lord I put my amens. ...If there's a bus, it
just might be your friends who throw you under it.



[2]

When I was your age, the boys we liked went to Vietnam and died there.
...Lord, we were black and poor, so you know what they
called us. ...In case a man pushes you out his car. ...In
the middle of a suburb. ...A suburb with no street signs and
no cab stands. ...I'm just tellin you what my mama told me
to keep us safe. ...In case the bus crashes. ...If you need
help, find a church. ...Keep one eye open on your so-called
friends.



[3]

All you gotta do in this life is stay black and die.
...Lord, we were black and poor, so you know what they
called us. ...Always have some 'mad money' on you in case a
man leaves you somewhere. ...In case a man pushes you out
his car. ...In the middle of a suburb. ...A suburb you have
never been to before. ...I wish I didn't have to say it but
I do: keep a top eye open. ...In case there is a tornado.
...In case the bus crashes. ...Find a Baptist church. Black
folks'll be there.. ...Into the Lord I put my amens. ...If
there's a bus, it just might be your friends who throw you
under it.



[5]

Always have some 'mad money' on you in case a man leaves you
somewhere. ...In case a man pushes you out his car. ...At an
intersection. ...A suburb you have never been to before.
...Always wear clean underwear. ...In case there is a
tornado. ...I'm just tellin you what my mama told me to keep
us safe. ...You'll get called a n-gger, probably by a
friend. Just wait.. ...My name is Bess and I ain't in that
mess. ...In case the bus crashes.



[6]

All you gotta do in this life is stay black.
...When I was your age, the boys we liked went to Vietnam
and died there.....At an intersection. ...In
the middle of a suburb. ...A suburb with no street signs and
no cab stands. ...Always wear clean underwear. ...In case
there is a tornado. ...You'll get called a n-gger, probably
by a friend. Just wait.. ...In case the bus crashes. ...Find
a Baptist church. Black folks'll be there.. ...Into the Lord
I put my amens. ...Of course I told your brother not to
look too long at white women.



[7]

When I was your age, the boys we liked went to Vietnam and died there.
...Lord, we were black and poor, so you know what they
called us. ...At an intersection. ...A suburb you have
never been to before. ...Always wear clean underwear.
...You'll get called a n-gger, probably by a friend. Just
wait.. ...In case the bus crashes. ...If you need help, find
a church. ...My own mama worked in white folks' houses all
her life. ...Into the Lord I put my amens. ...Of course I
told your brother not to look too long at white women.



[8]

Always have some 'mad money' on you in case a man leaves you
somewhere. ...At an intersection. ...A suburb you have never
been to before. ...I wish I didn't have to say it but I do:
keep a top eye open. ...In case there is a tornado. ...I'm
just tellin you what my mama told me to keep us safe. ...If
you need help, find a church. ...Find a Baptist church.

Black folks'll be there.. ...Keep that top eye open on your so-
called friends. ...My own mama worked in white folks' houses

all her life. ...Of course I told your brother not to
look too long at white women.



[9]

All you gotta do in this country is stay black and die.
...Lord, we were black and poor, so you know what they
called us ...been that way since Hector was a puppy. ...At an
intersection. ...I wish I didn't have to say it but I do:
keep a top eye open. ...Always wear clean underwear. ...In
case there is a tornado. ...I'm just tellin you what my mama
told me to keep us safe. ...You'll get called a n-gger,
probably by a friend. Just wait.. ...In case the bus
crashes. ...If you need help, find a church. ...Keep one eye
open on your so-called friends.