George did exactly what I said I'd leave him for. The man got offended that I did not feel like kissing in my house, and stated that although I'm good-looking, he wants "a nice, simple, sophisticated girl...not a poet (96). So apparently, I'm no good unless I put out a little more like the simple girls-- the girls who have nothing special about them. Well, he picked the wrong girl. I might be sophisticated, but I am not simple!
I asked him why he was so angry about who I am, and he stated that it doesn't matter what I think, or that I say what I think, "because the world will go on thinking what it thinks regardless" (pg 97). The nerve! So it's best that I simply accept my "place" in America as a black woman? No! I asked him why bother going to school, and his answer is basically just to make money! I told him to get out. No man is going to sum up the importance of education simply to money. That's like saying a woman is good only for her abilities to produce babies. Education can do so much more than produce money, and I for sure can do so much better with a man who can see me as more than just the identity of a "black woman" America thrusts upon me!
The rest of the night played off as quite annoying as well, but at least there was some good in it.
For once, Mama agreed with me that George is a fool. I was so glad that Mama could see things from my perspective. My great mood from my mother's kindness was ruined by the Johnsons, but quickly lifted again by her powerful words. The Johnsons always have to gossip and stir up trouble-- but I saw a part of me in my Mama again when she disagreed with them! Mrs. Johnson was insulting my attitude, stating it came from too much education. The women even had the nerve to quote Booker T. Washington, stating "education has spoiled a many good plow hand" (pg 103). My Mama then stated that Booker T. Washington was a fool!
How ironic! I saw in that moment a flash of George as Booker himself! George is a fool, and Booker is a fool. Both want to ruin black culture by assimilating. Mama might be a little too stuck in the previous generation on her ways of thinking, but she knows that a black person shouldn't limit themselves by ignoring education so they do not 'ruin themselves'. Absurd!
I swear, if I cannot escape the racism in America from the whites AS WELL AS the blacks towards blacks, I might just get the guts to leave it all behind. I want a place where our culture is the culture, and where we can accept others for who they are, and prosper because of our culture, not despite it.