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by:Breitex      2020-06-20
I don\'t think it\'s a hot and sticky August when I came to the world in 1958 ---
At least that\'s what I think.
Angela Evelyn Bassett is my name. -
My middle name is in honor of Aunt Evelyn.
But I have surpassed myself.
I need to start my story with my parents.
Mom doesn\'t have the best luck when it comes to men, but she always protects me from them.
After graduating from high school, she graduated from St.
She lives with her father\'s brother, uncle Charles, and his wife, aunt Evelyn.
That\'s where she met my dad, Daniel Benjamin Bassett, who moved from Winston to New York --
Salem, North Carolina
They meet, date, conceive me, get married, live in a small apartment in Harlem.
I think it\'s the seventh Avenue across from little paradise.
My father is a very smart man.
Educated people-
He can talk about anything with anyone.
But I always thought he was Jack. of-all-
Trading, but not a master.
He made money by working nearby, repairing the record machine and other electrical appliances.
My mother Betty Jane is a nurse assistant or something.
I have a very beautiful picture of her in a white uniform.
Both of them are working. they don\'t have much. -
Even before I was born.
In the late 1950 s and early 1960 s, black people had a hard time.
Ten months after I was born, my mother was pregnant again.
Of course, this will only make things harder.
I don\'t think my parents have considered how to deal with the two babies living in New York, both of whom have to work.
My mother never speaks ill of my father, but sometimes she says he is frugal or stingy.
According to her, if she says \"the baby needs shoes,\" then he\'s the kind of person that costs $4 for these shoes.
He\'s going to count four dollars. 72--not $4. 73--
More than nickel.
I don\'t know. maybe he\'s broke.
I\'m sure time is tight.
In addition to the financial struggle, my parents\' relationship is also in trouble.
My mother once told me a story that she tried or pretended to try to leave my father in her signature melodramatic style.
\"We\'re leaving your father.
\"We\'re leaving the man,\" she sang as she stuffed me into the car.
His friend apparently reported to him, \"they were in the car and she told the baby she was leaving.
He hurried home. \"What? \" he said.
\"Go back to the house!
You won\'t leave.
\"I also have a vague childhood memory, that is, playing with a white puppy who turned over and called.
I remember thinking the dog was fun.
My mother is making vegetables.
The argument about money--
My dad didn\'t want to give her money to buy food but he was eating it-then a fight.
A window was hit and then somehow my father\'s head was out of the window.
This is my only memory in that apartment.
Maybe this is the kind of behavior my mother is trying to keep us away from.
After my mother was pregnant with my sister, dette, my parents sent me to Winston --
Salim accompanied his father\'s sister, Kim.
Aunt Golden and her husband Grover do not have their own children, but she is a child-loving person and she gets along well with them ---
They are her background, her education, her love.
Uncle Grover didn\'t mind me staying with them.
He is a barber. he has his own barber shop and a sanitary barber shop.
His thing is to cut his head.
I live in two red bricks with Aunt Golden and Uncle Grover.
He built a bedroom house on Graham Avenue near Winston.
Now Winston-Salem Normal College
Salem State University
The house has a porch with an aluminum glider on it, a magnolia tree in the front yard and a weeping willow tree in the back.
From what they say, I like to play in the basement, a good boy.
Aunt Kim has a loyal and consistent relationship with Uncle Grover.
They\'re good, God.
People who are afraid of love, support and care for each other.
I have never heard harsh words in their home.
My aunt Kim is a teacher, so she is gone during the day.
When Auntie is at school, I will live with my grandmother whose name is brownie.
Grandma brownie lives in a small house across the street from school.
I will go to the Goler Metropolitan AME Zion church with her or aunt on Sunday.
Auntie always wears very well and goes to church and the like in a hat.
She would dress me up as a baby doll in a little dress, gloves and a little hat.
As a little girl, I always repeat \"Praise God!
And hallelujah!
\"This is what I heard at that church on Sunday.
Across the street from Aunt gold and Uncle Grover, I have a girlfriend, Debra.
I will play with her and her cousins and we will go to church together.
I may have heard Debra or some of my other friends call mom\"
I remember several times I tried to call my aunt \"mom\" or \"mom \".
\"Now, I don\'t believe I used to try to call Uncle Grover\" dad \", but I did try to call Aunt Kim\" mom \".
\"Angela, I am not your mother,\" she will tell me in a gentle voice.
\"You have a mother. I am Auntie.
\"I will be very upset and twisted my face.
I want a mom.
One day, when I was four years old, I was playing in the basement. my aunt told me to go upstairs.
\"Angela, your mother is on the phone. \"\"Hello. . . \"\"Hi, Angela.
\"This is mom,\" said the voice at the other end of the phone.
\"I don\'t have a mother,\" I shouted, throwing the phone down.
I remember feeling frustrated that the woman who lives with me and I love is not my mother, but there is such a voice on the phone that she is my mother.
This is the only phone I remember talking to my mother while staying with Golden and Grover.
I think people will write letters in those days, but I am too young to read.
The next thing I know.
I believe it\'s been a few days or weeks)
Someone knocked on the door, and a beautiful brown one. skinned woman--my mother--
Stand in the door frame.
My mom looks good and I think my aunt told me at least something I was looking forward ---
I don\'t remember any trauma.
But the next thing you know, I left and went to the Holy.
Peterborough, Florida, and her and my sister, Nate.
Listen to my mother, when she lived with my dad, she had a few neurasthenia and ended up in court.
The judge told her to take the child home or he would take us home or send us to foster care.
\"I\'m going home,\" she told him . \"\"I\'ll go home.
That\'s how she left my father.
Although they did not divorce until a few years later. In St.
We live with my mother\'s parents, Emma\'s grandmother and our grandfather Leroy, who we call mom and dad.
My mother found an assistant job in the hospital.
My grandmother took care of me when my aunt went to work.
We sat together watching soap operas.
She will drink her coffee and I will fill my cup with a teaspoon of coffee inside which is real milk.
I will fill her green when her story is over
Put all the small stamps in their place. That was fun!
When I finish, we will walk to the small shop and get my grape snow cone.
Then I took a nap in her big bed.
It was my day.
In the evening, my mother went to the secretarial school.
She didn\'t perform well in high school. -
She said she was always lazy, skipping classes and smoking with her girlfriend and barely graduated from Ds and Fs.
Now she paid and had to play catch-up.
When she had two little girls
We\'ll sit in bed together and play a game, and while she\'s learning and figuring out, I\'ll show her the flashcards with shorthand characters.
At the end of the day, she did a very good job in those tortuous lines, points and things.
Between that and the steno pad, she will do her thing.
I got on well with dette.
She is very interesting, very cute, very happy to have a big sister.
I am always a step earlier than her.
Once, when we were at Emma\'s mom\'s house, I remember I found a pair of scissors to play with barbershop like Uncle Grover.
\"Let\'s play with the barber shop,\" I said to Nate, cutting off all her pigtails.
When I finished, she smiled and said, \"be yours now.
I said, no, let\'s do something else.
\"When my mother came home from work that day, she broke me down.
I\'m always smarter than Nate.
I would say, \"I have five dollars and you have one . \".
\"I will give you my money for your money. \"\"Okay.
\"Of course, my money is a five-cent coin, and her money is a four-cent coin.
Then it\'s her turn.
\"No,\" I would say, and change the topic.
What do you want to eat?
So we stayed with our grandparents for a year.
My mom got along well with her dad. -
She\'s dad\'s daughter. -
But she didn\'t get along well with her mother.
There\'s a lot of \"get-down\"--arguing--between them.
Perhaps it is because my grandmother has become a witness to Jehovah, because she has strict demands and restrictions on Jehovah.
When my mother couldn\'t stand living with her parents anymore, we moved out of Grandma and Grandpa\'s house and into a small apartment on the other side of the rail track, the house behind the \"beer garden.
\"The beer garden is a kind of bar, one of the small bars in the bar.
There are peanut shells and sawdust on the floor.
For 50 cents or $1, you get a crab, a red potato and half a corn spike wrapped in newspaper.
My grandmother\'s sister, viola, and her husband, Hiram, owned and run it.
You know what\'s going on: Emma\'s mom is a devout church girl, Viola runs a beer garden, and my mother\'s youngest sister, Inez, is a teacher.
Anyway, our little house must be cheap, cheap, cheap-
Oh, my God, it\'s too bad!
We have water pipes in the room, but there are things like cockroaches.
It\'s hip, tired, down, poor, just terrible!
When we live in the shotgun shed, Le Roy\'s dad will come to see us all the time.
He lived with my grandmother and seemed to get along well, but the grandmother was very unhappy with what happened to her Jehovah\'s Witnesses.
My mother
We called his father\'s grandfather, Slater Samuel Stoke, a priest.
But it is clear that the grandmother never received an answer to her spiritual question in her father\'s church.
No matter who comes, meet you where you are, this is where you are going.
In the grandmother\'s case, to everyone\'s dismay, the person she \"met\" was a witness to Jehovah.
At the same time, my grandfather just wanted some \"Peanuts\" because my mother called it \"sex \".
He has a \"girlfriend\" who lives across the street from two projects
Story House
He\'s going to see her and come to see us.
We know that grandpa and grandma are married, but we also know that there is a woman around him.
It wasn\'t long before my mom moved us from the shed to Jordan Park a few blocks away. We had a one-
Bedroom apartment on the second floor.
We don\'t have much.
We rely on welfare.
We got government cheese and peanut butter pieces.
I remember taking money from my mom\'s wallet and going to the store every day to buy honey bread, candy and soda.
Not much at the time--maybe a nickel--
But it\'s still stealing.
I will buy my honey bread and soda and maybe some candy cigarettes or candy necklaces as well.
Or I can eat mint, grapes or green.
Apple happy ranchers hard sugar, stick it in the dill kimchi and suck sweet with the dill kimchi --and-sour taste.
Then we moved to one. Bedroom, ground
Floor apartment with porch.
I shared a bedroom with dette and could see the clothesline.
No matter which direction you look at, you are facing a brick house.
At least the kitchen looks at Jordan Park, all-
We went to black Primary School.
We will go through the street, over the fence, through the playground, over the Monkey Bar, and continue our classes.
My mother may have struggled at school and early in her life, but she has a good side and passed it on to us.
Mom doesn\'t want us to suffer her fate and she will tell us a lot.
She made sure we looked good.
She made sure we did well at school.
She trained us to love God.
On Sunday we will walk together to the Stewart Memorial CME Church, where we attended the Sunday School and service.
I am a member of the youth choir. I am very happy to sing.
Ma Yun is a goddess.
She sang in the adult choir.
Her favorite song is his eyes on the Sparrow, which she sang as a high-pitched soprano with her typical melodrama.
I will be very embarrassed.
One of my favorite memories is when dad stands in front of the altar of the church and watches him sing \"give your troubles to God and leave them there \".
He took out the white handkerchief from his pocket and threw it on his shoulder as if it represented his heavy burden.
When he finished the song-
Give your burden to the Lord and put it there-
He took the handkerchief off his shoulder and threw it on the altar with flourish flowers, opened the heel and walked lightly.
I remember sitting there. \"Wow, Papa!
Great performance, great theater.
I come from a very dramatic family.
At home, I played with my dolls and cut the pattern for them.
I have many dolls.
When I was a little girl, I had a white doll. -
That\'s all.
I remember the little black girl with the white doll.
But after James Brown \"speaks out loud, I\'m black and I\'m Proud\", I remember the black doll appearing on the market.
Aunt golden sent me the two black dolls and Nate. -
They are two or 3 feet tall.
You can take their hands and go with them.
I always think the black doll is beautiful.
It\'s great to see a doll that looks exactly like me.
We will comb their hair and my cousin will cut them hair. -
Then we need a new doll.
Some black girls still want white dolls. -
This is what they are used.
Personally, I have never had a Barbie because they don\'t look like me.
We watched Julia, rich mine, Monky and Taishan on TV.
Mom will let us sing together and perform popular Motown songs on the radio.
The latest single will come out, \"Daddy is a rolling stone,\" or \"Say it out loud, I\'m black and I\'m proud of it,\" or \"You make me go round in circles, she will let us perform.
Then, a woman who likes children nearby helped us form a small dance troupe.
We will dance and sing for songs like kung fu and perform on the local Delta Sigma Theta mixer.
I laughed when I thought about how much it would help my lips
In the future life.
Mom will also take us to the movies.
We saw the Blues my sister liked. -
After she saw it, we had to learn all the songs of Diana Rose.
We also saw the Ten Commandments and super flies.
I fell in love with Jackson 5 and I dreamed of getting married to one of them ---
Probably the cutest and most rounded African of the time.
In my imagination, we will have children and live in a real house.
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