I work in the restaurant from git up in the morning to go to bed at night. I don't go to school even. I could read and write some but when we got here I was twelve already and hadn't been going to school for a long time in Jamaica. So my mother say, you almost grown so what's the use. But Kimberton, he's my brother go to school. A lot go for Kimberton-clothes, bicycle, computer toy. He is one year younger than me.
I tell her again when I am 16. Kimberton is fifteen but he skipped a grade in elementary school so he is in his second year of high school. Going to be a doctor."You going to be a doctor!" my mother tell him, "What you think I'm working for, for you to be a god damn taxi driver!" the question I as myself is, what am I working for.
-Rhonda Patrice Johnson, Push By Sapphire
I think I linked the post on Los Angelista's commentary about black women and how they are not protected in our society. I have previously discussed how in our society, it doesn't seem plausible to most that black women can get raped or exploited. In the book Push, there is more rape and exploitation than you can shake a stick at. It is completely mind boggling to me. Not just Precious, but many other characters as well. Rhonda Patrice Johnson is the perfect example of a black woman not being protected and falling to the way side for her brother. Her mother encourages her to drop out of school, but convinces her brother he is bound for greatness. She works aside her mother to help support and nurture his education forsaking her own. In the book, without giving away too much detail, her story gets worse. Rhonda is a black woman who is on her own, forced to make her own way, why her brother is nurtured and supported. It seems to be black women are expected to succeed, while the only way black men are expected to succeed is at the detriment of black women. This isn't a black male bashing thread, as the mother is at fault for choosing one to work and forgo education at the expense of their sibling, it is a reflection upon black culture and sexism in America. The focus is on black men and not so much black women. How do we as a community get over this? Will or can feminism help, or will sexism like in all society, especially mainstream society continue and things will remain status quo?
How do we acknowledge this issue without disparaging black men in the process? It seems that it is almost impossible to do.