Rigorous
Volume Four, Issue 3



Bridgette Hart-Minor


Otherness

All the killers I saw growing up were white men,
All the stand-up guys were black.
Sometimes white men could be bad guys who were good guys who were bad guys who were—
Wait, I am confused.
Life don’t always make sense.
For example, growing up, I always felt different.
Race was never discussed in the predominantly white church I grew up in.
Mama would say I would have to prove myself three times over because
“You’re female. You are black. And you’re poor.”
I longed for flowing blonde locks and wore my bath towel around like a wig.
At age 8, I read Alex Haley’s “Roots.” I thought it was a story.
It did not seem possible that the world could be so evil.
Surely, my classmates did not see me as that dreadful word--
That word that carried the weight of hate, shame and false entitlement.
And then, fast forward to high school; Ms. G’s English class
The horrible Socratic seminar that confirmed what I had often felt.
I was not beautiful.
I was not talented.
I was not worthy.
Because I was black, IQ and GPA were not enough to prove my intelligence
Even though the valedictorian and the salutatorian of my graduating class often asked to cheat off my paper.
In 9th grade, my teacher assumed that I would be able to afford the $5 fee for the required reading.
Intelligence and money are not always connected.
Just as complexion and value never are.




Thoughts During Self-Isolation

I never would have gotten my nails done if I’d known the Apocalypse was coming.
Moments of crisis either paralyze or galvanize us;
I feel like Sonic; I’m moving so fast everyone around me stands still
I’m living pandemic life like it’s golden.
Electricity, internet and snacks.
Saddened for the individuals and families whose lives are upended forever.
I chose this raggedy book to journal in because have you SEEN 2020 so far?
I feel vain, but I still maintain my beauty regimen.
No makeup unless I’m doing a Zoom with my students…
Last week, no one showed up and I was stuck lying around with a full beat and NO BONNET!
The Black girl guilt!
My life is still patient wife teacher mama,
But I like the order MUCH better now!
Goals with my therapist:
Less shuffling of guilt—Check
More acceptance of my reality—Check
Prioritizing myself first because, survival—Check
Too bad we only had five sessions.
Perhaps that’s the purpose of this journal.



Bridgette Hart-Minor: "I am Florida born and raised. I graduated from USF in 2006 with a BA in English Creative Writing and earned my MS in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University in 2009. I am a big sister, wife, mama, educator and logophile. In my spare time, I like reading erudite articles and texts on various topics and using my knowledge to inform my work.”




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