When I was little my Granny lived just a few blocks down the street from me. Me and my big sis used to walk to her house and spend time playing with the kids along her street. I remember my first light bulb moment when I knew that my Granny was really something special.
I asked my cousin K (who was legally my uncle, ya’ll know how that goes) why the landlord never came to pick up Granny’s rent…he looked confused and simply stated Granny owned her own home. Well damn! Go on Granny.
Now you have to understand I am a projects and section eight kid (don’t act like ya’ll don’t know) so landlords were a big part of my life. When I found out Granny owned her own shit I was proud.
My Granny was born in the early 1900’s in a small town that no longer exist. She was a stunning amazon chocolate sista with that “good hair”. She moved to the midwest with my Grandpa, an illiterate alcoholic, in the 1930’s. By the time I came along Grandpa had long since been kicked to the curb. Granny wasn’t about a lot of bullshit.
All of my life my Granny had been on her own paying her bills and taking care of all us in a way that I only came to appreciate when I finally ventured out into the world.
Now my Granny was a child of jim crow…back of the bus, backdoor of the resturant, the wrong side of the tracks…she withstood all of that bitterness and hatred carving out her own piece of real estate, but the craziest thing about my Granny was she was afraid of FROGS..I had an affection for the little critters that caused my Granny to threaten to beat my ass on more than one occasion.
She would yell from safely inside the house for me “to put that damn frog down or I would have to get my own switch” I always laughed on the inside because my Granny could whoop a grown man’s ass without messing up her press and curl, but that itty bitty frog was enough to do her in.
In loving memory of my Granny I have made the green (her favorite color) frog my symbol. Everyday I look at Pearl, my own stuffed green frog, and I know today I must face my fears. I must not let my own shortcomings trip me up. Everyday I must remember those who laid down their lives in the kitchens of their oppressors so that I can sit at this private university and receive an education. I have lovingly placed my Granny deep within my spirit. Everyday I do it for her and her mama Hattie. Today I am better because I ain’t letting no kind of “frog” stop me.