Over the past week, I've been cornered and questioned: What was real in your book? There's a part of me that wants to keep these things hidden, afraid to reveal too much of my own history. It's only natural to want to protect myself. So, I'm counting on you to keep this a secret--and--a no judgement zone. Okay? Pinky promise?
10. My father's side of the family is of the darker hue, and my mother's side is light skinned. And my mother's side has the "good hair." Colorism exists within my own family too.
9. I used to sing in the mirror just like Genesis. Unlike her, I can't sing. And I do remember having a shirt over my head a couple times, but it was a white one.
8. My dad loved history. My mother used to joke that he could've majored in rhetoric.
7. My maternal granny (who passed away before the book was published, and was very proud of my writing) had a shrine of old photographs. She treasured our family stories and passed them down to me.
6. In middle school, there were two girls (one named Angela, and I forget the other) created a list called 100 Reasons why we hate Alicia. And they did have some stupid reasons on there like: She smiles too much. She wore the same pants on Wednesday that she wore on Monday.
5. During that same time, there was a boy named Troy who was cute, and he had muscles--and he was nice to me. I was so grateful for his kindness because I think those two girls had a crush on him. Secretly, I had one too.
4. We moved around a lot. Yep, even evicted.
3. There is a real Mrs. Hill. She wasn't a chorus teacher, but a substitute teacher. She made connections with students and made an impact on me that holds true to this day.
2. Like Genesis, I tried hard to make friends with the pretty, popular girls. I remember in elementary school, there were three girls: Dana A., Dana E. and Ericka. They were fair skinned and had long, pretty hair. And they always had matching sweaters to go with their dresses. I wanted those pretty sweaters. I wished for their long hair. And I sorta thought if only I can be with them, then perhaps their beauty would shine on me.
1. My dad was the best cook ever! And he could fry some shrimp that would make your toes wiggle too!
Remember, this is a secret. Shhhhhh!