View Full Version : The Angry Black Lady

23-09-2009, 20:59:00
(unedited, I don't normally write anything)

She shook her head in an agreeing manner as the lecturer spoke on his topic. Making random marks in her notebook at what seemed like appropriate intervals she gave the appearance of attentive listening, or engagement. However, as the speech went on, the resonance echoing from her hollow head became so deafening that it was as if her brain were replaced with a bell clapper and rang out "I don't understand" on the edge of her skull. This was her normal offering to the class, her job, her relationships, and the world. Walking about, pretending to be smart, and playing a somewhat convincing part.

When, as a young girl, she expressed aspirations to be an attorney she was chided by her family, who in a typical inner city fashion explained the people like us don't go on to do things like that. Her stroke of genius was the realization that while a black woman had to be strong then she would be strong everywhere, even against the naysayers. Testing well she enrolled in a local college and struggled to maintain her grades, eventually earning a history degree and a GPA near normal. During her time in school she also received an opportunity to study for several months in Madagascar, a location she has since self-assigned her African roots to, despite any evidence.

Following her unsubstantiated love for the law she enrolls in a low-tier law school and quickly finds the subject matter too daunting and quickly drops out indicating that "it just wasn't for me". Her ego hurt and her options thin she accepts a proposal of a former friend, current lover, and the two are married. Two kids later and following a nasty divorce she reenters the work force bitter, angry, and equally as ignorant as she was all those years ago.

Kids in tow she fights now at work, not just for a pay check, but for her honor, and to win back the ego she has lost. Those who would promote her won't, because she comes of demeaning. Those who would demote her, won't, because she's a black woman. To those who can't do either she lays claims to "work the system" and to "trick" as she clamors against and not up the corporate ladder. She continues to shake her head in agreement, but not in understanding. She will never understand, for how could she. The world has always worked against her, so she must work against it; forgetting the rutter and leaning into the sails she fights a losing fight.

As the class wraps up she approaches the speaker who is courteous and understanding of ignorance, he teaches after all. She asks a few questions to establish she listened though they have no baring in the understanding of the material discussed. Somehow she turns the subject to Madagascar and restaurants the both should know. A not so sly comment on the lack of a ring, an unwelcome advance that is quickly rebuked, and she retreats, refueled, ready to continue the fight.

24-09-2009, 01:52:46
That's pretty damn good. I like the way you write.

Couple of suggestions:

"comes off as demeaning"
"have no bearing"

24-09-2009, 08:25:38
At some point during the second to last paragraph I started to mentally read it in the voice of the guy who did the A-Team intro.

24-09-2009, 08:49:40
It keeps changing tense, which made it read funny.

24-09-2009, 09:58:38

24-09-2009, 12:14:59
Is this his coworker?

24-09-2009, 12:37:50
Yeah, it needs editing. I'm bad at the tense thing and generally catch that type of stuff the second time through. I generally write technical documents, which are a lot easier.

This isn't my coworker, it's some lady in my class. She drives me nuts too, but having painted this portrait of her now I sort of feel sorry for her.

25-09-2009, 02:29:50
I think the tense is fine except for the 3rd paragraph, which would be better worded as follows:

Following her unsubstantiated love for the law she enrolled in a low-tier law school, but quickly dropped out after she found the subject matter too daunting, indicating that "it just wasn't for me". With her ego hurt and her options thin she accepted a proposal of a former friend, current lover, and the two were married. Two kids later and following a nasty divorce she reentered the work force bitter, angry, and equally as ignorant as she was many years ago.

The 4th and 5th paragraphs are fine in the present tense.