by Guest Contributor Cheryl Lynn, originally published at Digital Femme
*Warning: Spoilers Ahead*
“Baby, you can fall down in the mud, but you don’t have to wallow in it.”
“I’m tellin’ you. It ain’t easy.”
Two sayings. Two grandmothers. Both mine. Both true.
One more saying. This one’s true too.
“This won’t kill me. I won’t die here.”
Martha Washington. The Black Reality.
Like my grandmothers, Martha Washington grew up in a hostile environment–America. More specifically for Martha, she was raised in an alternate version of the Cabrini Green Housing Development, which existed as a cordoned off area of Chicago intended to house those that the government deemed to be undesirable. The Green was relegated to those who were black and those who were poor. As a child, Martha received substandard housing and substandard healthcare. She attended school in a decrepit building outfitted with exposed pipes and outdated school supplies.
But what did Martha need with a decent education? To her country and to her government, she was simply fuel for a brick and mortar Ouroboros. Like her father before her, she was raised to live and die in the Green. Nothing more than a lump of coal to keep society’s dirty engine running.
Funny things happen to lumps of coal when you apply enough pressure. They get hard, durable and sharp enough to cut anything.