My very first memory of my father is a trip to McDonald’s and then a walk on Bluff Lake, a 900-acre lake that is part of one the the US Government’s wildlife refuges. When I went home earlier this summer, I took my dad and my two boys there. It made my dad happy to spend time with his grandsons in one of his favorite places.
I’ve been working on characters for a fictional series about the area. But, I had no idea that the first short story would be inspired by something so distant but so very close to Mississippi: race relations. As a mom of Black boys, my heart breaks for the parents of Mike Brown, who was shot and killed by a police officer. It seems that it is ok for our children not to get a chance at a fair trial or even life. But, my story raises the question:
What if Mike Brown was a child you knew personally?
A Walk in the Woods
After his Saturday evening walk, Wilson Cox napped in the plaid recliner in his mother’s living room. He was awakened by the ten o’clock news and the story of a shooting that occurred the previous night, causing the local minority community to protest in outrage. His mouth gaped in horror as the reporter detailed the shooting of seventeen-year-old Andrew Smith, Jr., his best friend’s son.
He couldn’t make out why the newscaster kept using words like the “minority community” and “disadvantaged youth” as she described the mob of protesters. On the screen, a crowd of White youth stood against an army of Black officers. Wilson picked up the remote to make sure he hadn’t inadvertently turned to Saturday Night Live; their parodies often seemed so real. Unfortunately, he was watching Fox News. Read more …