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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Street Where I Lived

I grew up on a racially charged street where the blacks lived on one side and the whites on the other. I remember being around 7 years old and having a girl friend that I could talk to only with the fence that enclosed our front yard between us. It wasn’t acceptable for either of us to cross that fence. But sometimes it happened. One day the woman who lived directly across from us came over and asked my mother if she could use our phone. I remember that my mother helped her find the number she needed to dial. It wasn’t hatred that divided my street, it was more like confusion. As a child I was expected to act a certain way that didn’t feel right. Yet, everyone on the street at one time or another smiled at each other and said hello. We just did not mingle beyond that. Today as I cast my vote for Obama I thought of my old street. If I went back I would not find it the same, I am sure of that. I might be able to recognize some patch of it, some small broken down fence, perhaps. But for the most part my old street is far away and gone.

-Aphra Behn
© 2008

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