My grandmother screamed, Dear God! Who did this to you? I rushed from my bedroom to discover my older sister Kiki covered in blood, crying, shaking, and barefoot. A man that weve never seen before answered, I got them off her. It was maybe five girls beating and robbing her. I couldnt find my words; they were suppressed by my tears. How did this beating lead to two mild mannered pre-teen sisters en route to the hospital? Multiple chipped teeth, busted lip, swollen jaw, throbbing rib cage and dizziness from being stomped in the head. Younger by two years, I was scared, sad, most of all angry. Livid because I wasnt there to protect my best friend. I was reared with a very large diverse middle-class family. My mother gave birth to my sister while she was in college. My grandparents took her in as their own. My mother saw that as a green light to continue the partying. She gave birth to me two years later.
She was working, studying, and partying full time. Urban legend says the lifestyle the expecting mother creates the childs characteristics. My mother is one of 10 children; our own little tribe that throws amazing parties and then praises the Lord. Many grandchildren came after us but we are the OGs. Thats right original grandchildren. My aunt Charlena taught me how to read at three years old. My first book was The Childrens Sunday School book. My sister and I sang in the church choir. Rehearsal was hours upon hours every Saturday. We went to a big church with a well-known pastor. My grandmother was on several committees at church. I enjoyed church. At a very young age, I picked up on the politics of the church. My father was a very handsome man in med school. He bought lots of things for my sister and me. One day, my mom and dad had a huge fight and I never saw him again. I was 5 years old. Never really felt the bond with my father. My grandmother Aleis, a beautiful multiracial import from Arkansas, and my grandfather, a tall, thin, chiseled face man from Mississippi, had 10 children. One being my mother; the other nine was the village that helped rear my sister and me.
This dynamic made us socially mature. We were always encouraged to