Story Time

Nacirema Women


Atlanta, 1992.

THE SUNSET, the color of sweet red apples and sour oranges, swept across the once clear blue sky as the clock hit 7:00pm. It’s getting darker by the minute. The neighborhood was filled with a liquor store , abandoned houses, boarded up windows with spray painted gang related phrases, and broken liquor bottles in the grass. Pete’s Liquor Store was where you could buy medication, groceries, liquor and clothes at the same time. The sidewalks were the homes of drug dealers, crack heads, alcoholics, and gang members who made it their duty to make everyone uncomfortable as they walked passed – especially women. The wind blew violently, knocking Raleigh’s hat off of her head and onto the cracked sidewalk. As she tried to follow it, the wind picked up the hat and angrily threw it in a near by alley. She looked up at the sky and frowned.

“ God, are you against women too?”

Winter will be here soon and the thought couldn’t make Raleigh anymore happier. She loved the cold. She loved how your body could be freezing and numbed of any feelings. Feelings are for women. Lions take action. Raleigh wanted to be a lion. She wanted to be numbed of feelings and take control. She wanted people to listen to her and follow her words of wisdom. She wanted to exist, have strength, courage and leadership. She wanted people to be terrified of her yet be able to draw them into her beautiful thoughts.

She was knocked out of her thoughts when she approached the alley and seen three white men handling business. The eighteen year old quickly grabbed her hat and hid behind a dumpster in the alley.

Her dad would say : A woman cooks & clean and stay out of a man’s business, especially a white man’s business. But Raleigh, is a lion not a woman. She was more afraid of not hearing enough of the conversation than getting caught by the men.

“That’s the drugs and his fingerprint right there, man.” She heard one of the men say. All of the men had guns and walkie-talkies. They were cops. Three white cops in the alley of a Mexican neighborhood.

He continued talking, “We could plant the drugs and money on him. That’ll be our evidence so he can go on trial and be convicted for murder.

“And no one would even think it was me.”, another middle aged man with short blonde hair added.

Him. Raleigh wanted to know what innocent man was about to get framed by white cops. The lion in her recorded the men, but she knocked a trash can down in the process. All of their eyes met Raleigh.