Joanne

Nikki Huynh, Guest Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Everyone calls me jo: even dogs call me that. My parents decided to give me the name Joanne jackson I am a high school student who has recently moved from Alabama to Harlem, New York. Finally my last year of school but soon will now have deal with the challenging world as if it already wasn’t hard for us colored people. I have an older brother his name is Tyler, he just turned 19 and reminds me that war happens everyday for us because you never know if a bomb full of hate will blow up and punish us for doing something that is not considered “right” to the privileged people. My parents work all the time causing them to hardly be home. My mother is a housemaid, and whenever we get a chance to talk, she lies about how she likes the job. I see deep down inside she is tired and angry that this whole world is unfair. My father is a janitor for a clothing store.

 

July 1927, Harlem

The Elks Annual Convention Parade, is a protest held by 25,000 black  men and women marching in pouring rain, following a route from 60th Street up 5th Avenue, then up Lenox Avenue, before crossing to 7th Avenue to go through the neighborhood. I walk with my brother and my best friend, Justin, in the rain with anger hoping that this one parade will help change people’s minds. As we are walking a mysterious white male who was probably in his late 20’s stared at me as if he wanted to kill me or do something to me. I then call out for Justin letting him know what I had just witnessed so that he can be aware of that odd man. Justin then grabs my hand and keeps me close to him. A group of people  come and overcrowds the area we are in. I feel the grip of Justin’s hand slowly loosen until I hold nothing but air. Tyler is no where to be found the last time I saw him he was marching with his friends. I’m afraid knowing that, that man can be somewhere around, probably eyeing me.

I felt this hand creeping on to my arm getting ready to grab me. I quickly tried to move away but couldn’t get past the crowd. The hand then covers my mouth and nose with a cloth  making and I past out. Everyone was distracted by the jazz music and they also played the “life every voice” which was the anthem, and no one noticed my disappearance . The next day came I woke up with my arms tied up to the head rest of a bed, my mouth taped up and, my legs tied together. With bruises on my body and my clothes ripped off, I am helpless and  don’t  know what to do. No one is around so I try to scream for help. The white man comes back. He unties my arms so he can adjust me the way he wants me to be positioned, so I quickly use all the strength with my legs and arms to get him off. I get up and run to the kitchen and grab the nearest sharp object that I see just in case he comes at me again and I then run straight out the door. Chocked in fear, I bolt to the closest place of safety, which is the place where my mom works located a few blocks down. I knock on the door, crying, waiting for the door to open. The door opens and my mother Luanne is here. She hugs me sobbing in tears

 

“Honey, who did this to you? And what happened to you being in that parade?” Cries Luanne

I explain everything to her an also everyone else in my family including my best friend Justin. Everyone was worried and angry when I explained to them it was the white man that seemed off from the start when I saw him at the parade. Luckily Justin saw exactly how he looked like and know what he does for a living.the next day he went to the job he worked at and saw his name was Robert Howard. He then came for him and beat him up for what he did to me risking everything considering he is a black man he can get punished badly. Punches were being thrown back and fourth. The cops took him away and haven’t seen him in a few days

***

A week later

Today is court day to hopefully help let Justin free from being guilty. It my time to explain why Justin is not guilty I told the judge about my whole situation the judge didn’t seem to be to convince that Robert Howard is to be guilty. He believe the kkk is good, so I then showed my bruises of evidence that he did it. It’s funny how as much as you can prove the that you’re to be innocent they still won’t believe you due to stereotypes/ racism. Robert didn’t have a good record either, apparently I wasn’t the first to be raped by the man to be more exact I’m not the first black female he’s done the exact same thing too and only to black females because he knows that he will win court due to the fact he is a white person.

***

Days later

I Had to go to court again to fight for Justin and his freedom. It was my time to take a stand again and first thing I said was I got pregnant at the age of 17 I never thought I would need to take this much responsibility at this time of age and it wasn’t my fault for what is growing inside me. I swore to the court that after I have this baby they can take a dna test to prove that robert is the father and should be considered guilty. For the mean time the court let Justin free but on probation…..

***

months later

To be continued

 

 

Bibliography

https://www.biography.com/people/groups/famous-harlem-renaissance-artists

http://www.softschools.com/timelines/harlem_renaissance_timeline/26/

http://drstephenrobertson.com/digitalharlemblog/maps/parades-in-1920s-harlem/

https://www.history.com/topics/roaring-twenties/harlem-renaissance

I also used the book called the Harlem Renaissance

Print Friendly, PDF & Email