Excerpts & Insights from Chapter 11 Nobody Puts Crack Baby in a Corner


“After all the bad run-ins in Sacramento and the taunting at school, I had vowed to never, ever like or date a black boy. I had convinced myself that they were all terrible and not worth my time, but he was different, and he liked me back. Once he and I locked in on each other, summer school became less about passing art class, and more about learning the art of love. We were high school kids, so naturally our courting consisted of making fun of each other and embarrassing one another in front of the class, only to exchange googly eyes and smirks. We ate lunch together occasionally and we talked before or after school, but we weren’t attached at the hip or anything. We never officially dated that summer, but we crushed on each other something fierce. I thought about him obsessively and my journals from that time are full of dreamy entries and poetic love declarations to him.


Every time I see you

my blood runs cold,

and then gets too hot,

and my heart just stops,

then beats really fast,

until I just can’t breathe,

and my eyes can’t see.

But, somehow, I’m still watching

the world walk towards me.

My brain is working overtime,

in overdrive,

in hyper speed,

going so fast that I can’t think or speak,

and I have so very much to say.

I’m all caught up in you,

in complete disarray.

Do you see anything

that’s going on inside me?

No. But, you know.

And do you know how it is that you do?

You feel the same thing,

because it’s happening to you too.

For Marcus


At certain points in my life I was very much like an old white supremacist trapped in a young black girl’s body. I had a certain disdain for black people, black boys and men especially. The experiences I’d had with them were mostly frightening, lewd, and disrespectful, and for me that meant that giving my time or my body to “one of them” would never be an option. Luckily I’ve done quite a bit of growing up, and I realize that not all black men are like the ones I ran into back then. I’ve since abandoned that way of thinking (thank heavens) but it still stands that a man, black, white, or purple, has to approach me with a level of respect for me to even bat an eyelash at him. Even as a young adult I hesitated to go to certain places or even particular cities because of how a majority of the black men act in those areas. I often hear stories of black women being hooted and hollered at by black men in the streets. When the women don’t react “accordingly”, they’re hit with a barrage of “fuck you bitch”s and “you ain’t cute noway”s. I had way too many of those experiences, and it certainly left it’s mark on me. Today, I’ve seen and met some outstanding black men, so I let them be the example I choose to look to when I think of what a black man is.



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