born in georgia my mom as a kid used to eat peaches that literally fell from the sky and by law the locals would make it their duty to enact the five-second rule if a peach hit the red clay on their watch.
when she describes how that juicy delicious natural fruit tasted you wanna say eewwww ma gross
but you dont. cuz its her birthday.
and she may be the greatest person youve ever met.
she grew up in a small black college town filled with poor black people but somehow everyone who worked on the main street was white.
these were the days of segregation and even though she loved The Butler she tells me she didn’t remember a black section of the lunch counter at the dime store, she remembers it being all white.
also, she doesnt remember any black kids having any money to pay for a sandwich in a drug store.
go home if youre hungry!
she did well in school. was a proper, ladylike southern belle. was awarded queen of the school. and like the kid in The Butler, she went off to school in tenneessee, at an all black college called Fisk.
at the time Fisk was considered the Harvard of the South for black students.
not only that but allegedly everyone who went there was hot.
the myth was you had to send a picture along with your application to get in, but my mom doesn’t remember any of that, but does recall that Oprah wasn’t given a scholarship to Fisk and has since refused to donate any money to the important and historic, but poor, Nashville college.
somehow my mom graduated high school early. like at 16. she was a math wiz and later learned russian and german because she wanted to be a translator at the UN.
a few weeks into her freshman year at Fisk word got out that there was gonna be a protest march for civil rights.
no one knew exactly what that entailed because there hadnt really been any protest marches for civil rights just yet but my mom went. she told me that at Fisk the freshmen girls had to check in and out at the desk and their parents had a list of people who it was ok for them to ride in cars with.
my grandmother okayed exactly zero people for my 16 yr old mother to ride in cars with
so she was a little late to nashvilles first protest rally because she had to take the bus.
lucky for her because the cops arrested so many people they had to stop arresting people because there was no where else to put them. so according to my mom, everyone turned around and went home.
growing up she drank from “colored” water fountains, had to go through the back door of restaurants, sat in the black section of the movie theatre, all while thinking it is what it is. then suddenly it dawned on her and everyone else that things could change.
one thing led to another and she was in washington dc marching with mlk.
soon after (unrelated) she gave birth to two sweet children. basically the blue prints for bart and lisa simpson.
she raised us alone outside of chicago, allowed pets, and neither of us have been convicted of any crimes or spent any time on The Poll.
what was her job? she was one of the first black computer programmers in the world. the computers took up an entire room and needed to be air conditioned at all time. the device youre reading this on is about 100 times more sophisticated which is why it was imperative that the programmers wrote every line of code themselves so errors could be easily debugged.
even though Oprah is her hero she never took a day off of work to drive into chicago to see the show get taped even though many of her friends had connections to get tickets.
but she would take off work to drive us to the dentist or the doctor or this or that
so last week when i went home to visit her i was all, wow, so you loved us more than you love Oprah?
i love you mom. happy birthday!!