Hello. Come on in. The daddy writes about current events, literature, music and, once in a while, drops something on you from back in the day to make you pause and ponder, stop and stare, and begin to wonder. Who knows? You may start to pace the floor, shake your head from side to side, then fall down on bended knees in a praying position and cry, "Lawd, have mercy! What is this world coming to?" Check yourself! But this blog is NOT about the daddy. It's about you: your boos, your fam, your hood, your country...our hopes and dreams of a better tomorrow. So let's make a pact: the daddy will put it on the track if you'll chase it down and hit him back. Together, we can definitely take it to another level. Shall we?"

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

That Crazy Black Woman-Part I

"Let not the shining thread of hope become so enmeshed in the web of circumstances that we lose sight of it."
--Charles W. Chesnutt, novelist
"Deal with yourself as an individual worthy of respect and make everyone else deal with you the same way."
--Nikki Giovanni, poet

Okay, I hate Tyler Perry-type movies, Flip Wilson-like comedy skits, and media in general that stereotype black women as domineering, loud and a few potato chips from going totally crazy. This is a post about Tameka, a strong, loud and crazy black woman…the daddy misses her very much. Are you ready?

A few years ago, the daddy worked as a drug counselor at a chemical dependency agency in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The daddy worked with a group of men in the agency’s residential program and gave presentations to both men and women on violence and addictions. Now, it was at one of the presentations that women counselors warned the daddy about Tameka, always saying the same thing: “Watch out for her. She’s kind of different.” What the hell does that mean, he thought.

So, after hearing this for the third time, the daddy cornered a woman counselor who knew this Tameka before she came to the drug program. She said Tameka is different because she has anger and trust issues, especially with men. "Try to help her, and she’ll curse you out. That’s why everybody is warning you,” she said.

She said Tameka was doing fine until she got “man trouble.” She was smart in high school. Boys, even male teachers, hit on her, but she stuck to the books. She wanted to be a nurse. After graduating, she started nursing school and was doing well. But she got a boyfriend who got her hooked on crack. "She gave him her heart, he gave her a venereal disease and a coke habit; and she ended up prostituting for almost a year to support her habit."

But she caught a break. When she was arrested for drug possession and prostitution, the judge could have sent her to prison but placed her into a residential drug program. “Tameka is alright,” she said. “She just uses her foul mouth to keep people away, to protect herself—you know, to hide the fact that, really, she is an attractive, petite young lady that doesn’t want to get hurt again…Sometimes, they’re the hardest to help.”

The daddy got a hint of how hard that would be after his first presentation with her in the audience. After his talk on meditation and how it can help restore a feeling of balance and calm the raging urgencies in the body, Tameka, who had been shaking her head and rolling her eyes during the entire presentation, bounced out of her chair, came up to him and (in front of several people) shouted, “All this talk about meditation. You talk like a hippie!” And after subsequent presentations, she would phone him at his office, ask very good questions but end the call by saying, “I don’t believe you” and hang up.

Then there was her graduation (Yes, she did graduate). It was a very touching affair. About a dozen or so were graduating. It was held in a big dining area that was decorated with bright-colored signs and appropriate messages on the walls, nice lighting and balloons. The food was great.

You see, many of these brothers and sisters never graduated from anything, including high school. Suddenly, they were getting props for finishing something from family and staff, for doing the right thing. Plus, they were told that, through its aftercare program, the agency would help them to get an apartment, a job or go to school and gain the skills to get a living-wage job. It meant a lot to them and to their family members too.

But can you guess who was skeptical of this entire affair?

Can you guess who was not only skeptical of this graduation but the graduates as well, who stood in the center of a circle of women doing a presentation of her own, and who told them, "If y'all don't cut loose them sorry ass men, you gon be back on the streets in a New York minute?"

And after he congratulated her, can you guess who turned, walked away and, still smiling, said, “I don’t care if I ever see you again!”

Is Tameka crazy?

Are elephants heavy? Do leopards have spots? Was James Brown? But wait til you hear what she did for the daddy and why he still misses her.


Anonymous said...

daddy, she just had to get back to trusting in her own way. Personally, I like Tyler Perry, but I know what you're saying.

Kit (Keep It Trill) said...

You're such a tease. I'm waiting for Part II.

MacDaddy said...

anon: I agree.
kit: The story has a bittersweet twist that I think you'll appreciate.
BTW, I'll be visiting you at your blog.

SagaciousHillbilly said...

Git yer ass back here and finish the story Daddy!

Aw hell, I don't care if I ever hear the end of the damn story. said...

Hey Daddy!

When I read about Tameka, I am reminded of my gurl, Debbie, and I even wrote a post about her, "The rose That Grew From Concrete".

I understand how the people we try to help advance to the next place in life wind up touching us more deeply than we ever expected they could, would, or should...

Thanks for this inspiring story!

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!