Macy: Part III
By: Mia L. Hazlett
I sit before the box of letters on my bed and browse through them. There is a small number in the upper left hand corner of the twenty envelopes. They are arranged chronologically, so I pull out the first one.
It wuz 1928. A day that wuz so ruthless with the heat, that just blinkin’ made you sweat. Macy baby, it wuz that day I dun learnd to hate the culur of my skin. And chil’ when I say hate, I mean if I could have gone home and washd away the black, it would have been gone.
We wuz in Porter, Mississippi. It wuz me, my two big brotherz, my big sister, and my three cousinz down at the lake. Now we shoulda known better, becuz that there lake borderd someplace you just don’t go. That’s just what Momma sed, “Don’t cha ask why. That there lake borderz someplace you just don’t go. Ain’t no need for no cullurd people to be down there.” To this day, I wish we had listend to Momma. Macy baby, to this day I wish we had listend to Momma. But when you hard headed like we was, well baby, you just don’t do what yur Momma tells you all the time.
See, it was hot. Real hot. And we was just gonna jump in that big ole lake and jump on out. Hadn’t even plannd on more than a minute’s fun. But when you dun have seven kids, ahundre’ degrees, and a big ole lake, well then chil’ you got yourself a watr party. That’s what we calld it, “a watr party.” Well we got to splashin’ and jumpin’ and just doin’ things that kids do, and before you knew it, twenty minutes or so had dun passd by. My big brothr Tobias jumpd on out and told the rest of us to follow his lead. And Macy we did. We dun followd Tobias’s lead and got on out of that there lake. We dried off and begun walkin towards the path that leed to the road and that’s when Momma’s voice came into my head, “That there lake borderz somewhere you just don’t go.”
Two sirs were comin’ down the path t’wards us. That’s what we calld all white men, “sirs”. Even in yur thoughts you calld them that, so you would never make a mistake in there presence. They weren’t gonna let us go by Macy, they weren’t gonna let us go by. We all steppd aside into the bushes and left the path free. They dun slowd there walk as they approachd Tobias and stoppd inches from his bare feet. “Look at this here nigger coon, Jesse.” That was his friend’s name, Jesse. “This here boy’s been swimmin’ in our here lake, Jesse. He done got all his nigger shit in it. Jesse, tell this here boy, what we do to niggers that swim in our lake.” Jesse dun steppd on Tobias’s toes with his torn sneekers and spit right in my big brother’s face. “We kill coons that swim in our here lake. DO YOU HEAR ME BOY?” He got up real close to Tobias’s face, and dun twistd on Tobias’s toes somethin’ awful, and whisperd, “We kill coon niggers that swim in our here lake.”
Tobias didn’t budge, not even a flinch. The spittle dun stayd on his face and he didn’t even move. “Jesse, I say we kill this here nigger and make these here little niggers watch. Should we do it fast or real real slowlike.” Now Jesse got off Tobias’s toes and steppd back. “I want to kill him real slowlike. Been a while since I had me a niggerkill.” That’s what he called it Macy, “a niggerkill”. “But it’s been a while since I had me a lil’ fun with a coongirl. I sure would like to have me some fun with a coongirl right now. But I want me a real dark nigger. There’s you and you.” He dun pointd the stick he been holdin’ at me and my sister Ruby. He kept goin’ back and forth and back and forth and he dun stoppd at me. “I’m gonna have me some fun with you lil’ girl.”
I’ll spare you the details Macy, but know thoze boys took us deep back in the woodz that day and I think it was hourz for my two oldest brotherz finally died. And Macy, those boyz did some awful things to me and my sister. I say to you Macy, those boyz did some awful things to me and my sister Ruby. I ain’t never been right since that day, just ain’t never been right. My Momma had done told us not to go to that lake. She said, “That there lake borderz someplace you just don’t go.” But Macy, we went.
(To be Continued)