Yesterday an online friend asked me what he thought the chances would've been of Wanda Coleman winning the Nobel Peace Prize had she still been alive to receive it.
|pub. by Black Sparrow Press|
My reply to my friend, after I'd considered Wanda Coleman and the Nobel Peace Prize: "I love Wanda Coleman, and though the oppression she wrote of was universal, it's wasn't as clear cut, as black-and-white in a good vs. evil sense, I don't think, both from her perspective of what she experienced and what anyone might have seen looking in at her life, as what writers living under fascist regimes, say in China or Russia or Eastern Europe, endured; which is not to say I think it was necessarily any less or more egregious, but I do think a Nobel committee would deem it less, and thus not take her voice of outrage as seriously. Why is she so angry, I could hear them think? How bad could her suffering be; I mean doesn't she hail from the USA? From the land of plenty! The home of the free?"
|"Mt. Sac." is a community college in Walnut, CA|
APRIL 15th 1985
"It's been a wonderful trip and I'm feeling great! But fun costs and I've overspent on my trip to San Francisco and go to the bank to cash a check. There's an old white woman damn near eighty in front of me. She needs a deposit/withdrawal slip from the counter across the room, but hesitates to leave the long Monday A.M. line because she might lose her place. Rather than ask me to hold it for her, which I don't mind doing, she talks around me, as I'm not standing there, to a white woman in her sixties directly behind me. (I'm 6'2" in my brown leather boots and have the darkest skin in the place.) When the woman in her sixties reassures her, she leaves the line. When the line moves up I move up a step, leaving enough room for the eighty-year-old's return. Suddenly, the sixty-year-old addresses me boldly: "She wants her place back when she returns!"
'I heard. I got ears,' I say extremely rude and loud.
'You don't have to talk to me like that!' she says--half whine and half revulsion.
'Fuck off lady!' I say loud enough to silence her and the entire bank. Then I allow the eighty-year-old to re-enter the line ahead of me.
I'm satisfied my behavior will puzzle the sixty-year-old for time to come; wondering what she did to evoke such nastiness. Or perhaps she'll dismiss me as just another hostile young nigger wench. I'm not feeling so great any more.
Save me from bigoted old white bitches."