When I was young, black, and poor

p>These days I find myself reminiscing frequently. I laugh at some of the thoughts I had. You can tell a lot about where I grew up and what I had been exposed to.

CHICKPEAS= I didn’t know what these strange things were in the school lunch. We called them “The beans with the butts” and refused to eat them. I wonder how many pounds of chickpeas my school threw out. I didn’t eat a chickpea until I was about 17 and was making my own money.

ALMONDS= I used to think that only white people pronounced these delicious little nuts as “all-mends” as opposed to “al-mends”.

FOYER= Yeah, this is one section of the house you don’t get in the projects I grew up in. You get a living room, some hall ways, one bathroom, and more than one room if you’re lucky. I was embarrassed when I went to a friend’s house at 20 years old and they asked me to grab something from the foyer and I had no idea, no clue to what they were talking about.

ELECTRICITY: I didn’t know that people actually paid for electricity in their residence until I was about 13 years old. We weren’t sticklers for paying much attention to electric usage in my house. Just don’t turn on too much so the breaker doesn’t need to be reset. I remember someone saying that their mother needed money for the Con Ed bill and it just blew my mind.

BLACK VEGETARIANS: They were uppity and we couldn’t possibly be friends with them. You just weren’t normal if you didn’t like to eat chicken wings.


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