WE ARE: 5 women navigating our twenties in search of peace, happiness and love (or not). WE WRITE: about everything and nothing. From the insane to the mundane- you will find different paths taken, lessons learned and lives lived. WE THINK: you’ll enjoy it...Warning: Consumption of these views may leave you enlightened while intoxicated.


The View From Here will conclude on Friday, October 1, our third year anniversary. We would like to spend this month thanking all of our readers, followers, haters, visitors, family, friends, and fans for your continued support, encouragement, and comments over these past few years. Thanks y'all!
-The Five Spot

Friday, January 2, 2009

Good, Better, Best...Never Let it Rest

Hey y’all! Happy New Year and all that jazz! I hope everyone had a safe and great New Year’s Eve and Day. I know that I got my pork, black eyed peas and greens, so I hope 2009 treats me right! So last night after dinner, Bellini, Amaretto and I sat around and chatted. We talked about everything from Obama to the viability of HBCUs to Biggie vs. Tupac to recasting Waiting to Exhale (well at least Whitney Houston’s role). And somewhere in there we talked about today’s Black parents and whether or not they are properly equipping their children for the world.

I mentioned how one day my former boss (a Black woman) said to me, “Sometimes I don’t like for my kids to listen to Tom Joyner’s show, cause they get to talking that race stuff and I don’t want to them to hear all that.” Say what? Your kids do know they’re black right? And they do know what that means for better or for worse? Here were two girls, ages 10 and 13, attending a majority white girl private school, and saying things like, “those girls are soo smart.” Like they weren’t. Already feeling inadequate. Confidence shook. Coveting what the rich, white girls have and do. And you don’t want them to hear about race stuff? Um ok.

Here’s a Rum Punch story from the vault. Senior year of high school I took AP English. The teacher was in a word, crazy. No, two words, pure craziness. When we took practice exams I did really well on reading and interpreting passages. However, when we would have to write essays on our assigned literature, she stayed giving me low scores. And her patented phrase was, “I grade on the AP scale. So this is what you would get on the AP exam.” Ok this heffa was givin me 2s and 3s which translated into real life Cs in English on my report card. Now if you don’t know, a 4 is what you usually need to receive college credit. Best score is a 5.

Needless to say my confidence was shook. I pressed on. I worked harder. Met with the teacher. Tried to dig deeper and find extra symbolism in every aspect of every book we had to read. My mother even helped me with essays. And this woman didn’t change the score/grade she gave me. As the test date grew nearer, I said to my mom, “I don’t see why I should take that test. If she grades on the AP scale, I probably won’t pass.” Well Mama Rum Punch wasn’t having that. “Oh you’re taking that test.” And I did. And I scored a wait for it, wait for it, 5. And once the test results came in, my mother stormed off to the school, found my teacher and said, “In your face btich.” Or something like that. But knowing my mother it was probably just that.

That whole experience was truly a turning point in my life. Even though I had been told by so many people, my parents, extended family, friends of the family, and church folk that I was the best. It truly didn't crystalize until that moment when I was faced with the options of pressing on or running away. And so it hurt my heart to hear my boss's children say they were less than and not have their mother, stop in her tracks and dispute that fact. Let them know their history. Who they are and what they're made of. And make sure they let no one tell them differently. I'm thankful that I was pushed past what I thought was my potential. And if even today I were to fix my lips to doubt myself, Mama Rum Punch would give me the look. That girl you musta fell and bumped your head and lost your mind look. And the moment would pass. And I'd be ready to take on the world once again. Because that's what I was raised to do.

That's my time y'all! Happy Rum Punch Friday!


mint julep said...

great post!

Rum Punch said...

@ MJ - Awww, thanks girl! It came to me in a dream. Ok so not true...