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She thought of her parents.  She missed them.  As she looked up into the grey clouds that were forming, the smoke from her Newport cigarette seemed to dance in the sky as she stood in a field in a nowhere town in Georgia…dreaming of the day she would return home to Chicago.  It was 2004.  She missed Bronzeville.

Everything in this town was the opposite of what she had known; and she spent her days despising the natives for not understanding this point.

Ignorance and attitude is a dangerous combination.

Her southern roots were deep but she felt no love for the “sawth”, smirking as she mocked the distinctive drawls that echoed through her mind.

What was it that really irked her most?  Was it the white people that still seemed to believe that Black folks still were meant to serve them or was it the poor Black natives who still didn’t realize that slavery officially ended in 1865, over 150 years ago; and authoritatively, the laws of the Jim Crow south, were put to rest in 1964, through the passing of the Civil Rights act.

All the” Red Devil” Velvet cake in the world could not make her feel any sweeter toward the deprived bastards that actually believed that sleeping with white trash was now a convenient way into being accepted by the dirty feet white folks, most of whom could barely spell the very words that came out of their mouths.

She was feisty and aggravated.  Almost 8 years in a damn place that she wouldn’t recommend to her worst enemy—still looking to understand herself  standing in a field, smoking a Newport—and looking up at the sky. She wanted to go home.  Georgia just wasn’t her speed and it was not going to change—so she had to make a decision.

The pain of being in a place so unfamiliar tested her deepest resolve.  She was homesick and looked for things to remind her of what she left behind.

The long winding country roads took her back to times that she did not know; they held memories of people and things that were long forgotten; secrets that would never be told.

Everything southern equated to the past:  A past that was darkened by slavery, hatred, oppression, poverty, and inequality.

It sickened her, yet, her roots were here.

Cooking became a way to connect to better parts of herself.  The dishes her grandmother cooked for her when she would visit; pleasant smells that emanated from the kitchen, always comforted her, and enticed her appetite.  They’d laugh and laugh—the sound of gospel music echoing through the kitchen as each dish was prepared, seemingly being blessed to enrich each person that would eat.

Amazing grace

How sweet the sound

But she wanted something else…something that was familiar.  Something that made her feel safe.  Something that reminded her of who she was and where she came from; this new place was slow and monotonous.  It was strange, and there was a weird vibe about the place. 

Oh!  When she looked up into the sky; she’d call up to God and ask for his benevolence to get her back home.  She wanted to go home—just like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz; she’d close her eyes and say: There was no place like home…there was no place like home…there was no place like home…when she opened her eyes—There she would be. 

She cursed.

There wasn’t anything in the town that pleased her.

The people were just too damn nosy and asked too many questions.  She wasn’t used to revealing so much about herself. 

Why did they care who she was?  Why did strangers have such interest in someone they didn’t know anyway?

So many times she bit her tongue.  The lashing she could unleash on those who violated, but she held back.  She prayed sometimes before saying the wrong thing.

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