by David Wall Rice Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Psychology, Morehouse College
I have a friend — family really — who attended Key Elementary with me in Arlington, Texas. I’d been at the school for about a year before she showed up. I lived in Los Angeles before moving to Texas.
Each morning at Key, before classes began, we would line up and then properly proceed into our homerooms. I was in the 4th grade. The line-up had become tricky for me. It was a time when older kids would pick on me, calling me — the black kid from Cali who oddly fit into the South — “ni–er.” This necessitated my fighting the bullies, and then being disciplined, and then explaining things to my mom over, and over, and over again. The teachers knew the deal, the administrators at the school where aware, other kids were with me, my mom had my back, still, no matter, I was an exhausted little dude. I was solo in my fight.