Sunday, November 13, 2011

An Hour Later, Saturday

"I’m going to feel fine, Mama. I’m going to look that son-of-a-bitch in the eyes and say –- and say, All right, Mr. Lindner –– that’s your neighborhood out there! You got the right to keep it like you want! You got the right to have it like you want! Just write the check and – the house is yours." Walter almost lost any kind of respect for the black race when he stated he was going to let Mr. Lindner "keep his neighborhood right" by keeping our black family out. He almost lost everything, and when I mean everything, I mean the last bit of respect our family had for Walter.

Mama made the right decision when she grabbed Travis during the sell-out, stating "Travis, you stay right here. And you make him understand what you doing, Walter Lee. You teach him good. Like Willy Harris taught you. You show where our five generations done come to." I know that Walter could not falter so hard in front of his own son, especially when he wants his son to be bigger and better than him one day. Walter became a man when he told Mr. Lindner we did not want his money, and we wanted our house. Walter found his identity in that moment. He even said he was proud of me for becoming a doctor. Walter finally realized that black people need to stand for themselves, and that black women such as myself can achieve greatness just like black or white men can. His eyes are opening to see how I see, and how all black people should see. Walter's pride for his race finally beats his need to break poverty and become big. Maybe assimilation gives black people money, but it never earns honest respect.

Even Ruth is willing to fight, keep her baby, and work for what we deserve. Walter is willing to give up his dreams of becoming big to work for what we deserve. As for me, I wish to do the same, but fight in a different way for the same thing.

"That was what one person could do for another, fix him up – sew up the problem, make him all right again. That was the most marvelous thing in the world…I wanted to do that. I always thought it was the one concrete thing in the world that a human being could do. Fix up the sick, you know – and make them whole again. This was truly being God…I wanted to cure. It used to be so important to me. I wanted to cure. It used to matter. I used to care. I mean about people and how their bodies hurt…" Becoming a doctor could offer so much not only for myself, but for others.

However, I might throw that idea out the window to chase a different kind of dream...

I realized tonight how little of my identity I am sure of when Asagai asked me to join him to where I once came...

"Nigeria. Home. I will show you our mountains and our stars; and give you cool drinks from gourds and teach you the old songs and the ways of our people – and, in time, we will pretend that –– you have only been away for a day. Say that you’ll come".

Am I really meant for America? Could I be better with people all like myself? Or should I break America's racism and become great in the country I was born in? Which is the right thing to do?

If I was worried about my own identity, I know that I am from Africa. If I was worried about black identity in America, I would stay and fight. Is it better to be who I was from race-wise, or who I was from when it comes to where I was born? I feel that I need to at least give Africa a chance before I can figure out who I really am...

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