African Voices Summer 2017 AV Summer 2017 Digital Issue - Page 24

Daddy Registered Republican in 1931 ,
but I learned about politics the year Mother called Mamie Eisenhower a frump . “ The papers can say whatever they want ,” she said , “ but those silly bangs and her stupid hat don ’ t do it for me .” ( She said this as she crushed my shoulders between her knees , hot-combing my kinky school- girl bangs .) “ Didn ’ t her husband have an affair during the war ?” I took it as a sign that Republicans should not be living in the White House .
At first , Daddy , immersed in the copy of Life magazine I ’ d seen him linger over more than once in the last six months , didn ’ t respond . On its cover , a snapshot of the first Negro woman ever to appear there — Dorothy Dandridge — one bronze shoulder exposed , a red rose high-lighting her hair , a smile that made men . “ I agree ,” was Daddy ’ s peculiar reply , “ Dorothy is one god-damned fine-looking woman .”
© 2017 Lynne Thompson
My Life According to Brenda M . Osbey
Made of dry rot and tenpenny nails pressing roots of ginger underfoot on my daddy ’ s land
My grandmother dead and buried flowers on the altars cinnamon out the back door
I could tell you they died one after the other and a longer time no one will speak of
I sit on my front porch into the night The night a bastard gleaming
© 2017 Lynne Thompson
24 african Voices
Daddy Registered Republican in 1931, but I learned about politics the year Mother called Mamie Eisenhower a frump. “The papers can say whatever they want,” she said, “but those silly bangs and her stupid hat don’t do it for me.” (She said this as she crushed my shoulders between her knees, hot-combing my kinky school- girl bangs.) “Didn’t her husband have an affair during the war?” I took it as a sign that Republicans should not be living in the White House. At first, Daddy, immersed in the copy of Life magazine I’d seen him linger over more than once in the last six months, didn’t respond. On its cover, a snapshot of the first Negro woman ever to appear there—Dorothy Dandridge—one bronze shoulder exposed, a red rose high-lighting her hair, a smile that made men. “I agree,” was Daddy’s peculiar reply, “Dorothy is )ݽt+ ܁1幹Qͽ)51ɑѼ ɕ4=͉)5ɽЁѕ䁹)ɕͥɽ́ȁչə)䁑é)5䁝Ʌѡȁɥ)ݕ́ѡх)Ёѡ)$ձѕԁѡ䁑ѕȁѡѡ)ȁѥݥ)$ͥЁ䁙ɽЁɍѼѡ)QЁхɐ+ ܁1幹Qͽ()ɥY