Little Brown Girl
My name is Shelly. I am named after my great grandmotherm Shelly. She was named after her her mom. Grandmother said that people were having children so rapid in the era of my great-grandparents that they ran out of names. She said that there was little to do back than but have children. My great-grand mother was a teenager, growing up in South Carolina. If one was pretty with brown skin with long black silky hair, they had their pick of all the handsome young mem to date or marry. Mom said that she was determine not to fall in that lifestyle.
When my mom finished high school at age seventeen, she high tailed it out of Pembroke South Carolina. After graduating high school it was assumed that she too would marry her teenage age boyfriend and produce lots of brown babies. Grandmother Shelly was very disappointed when mom broke the news that she was leaving South Carolina for a better life, than breeding babies. Aunt Shelly wished her well with tears in her eyes.
Mom said after leaving home and settling in Massachusetts, she was home sick and after one week she questioned her reason for leaving South Carolina. Everything was so new to her and the people she en-counted were very unfriendly. She was fully aware, before leaving South Carolina that people up North were far from being friendly. She was told that people up north walked around like they had a stick up their butts.
She was strong and determined not to be rattle by a few unfriendly faces though. She had enough money to last her for about one month but wasted little time searching for a job. Her first job was working at Massachusetts General Hospital as a Diet Aid. It was there she came across people with similar backgrounds as she. They didn't seem to have any sense of direction. She was told by her co-workers to avoid being friendly because one would assume that she was an easy pry.
Although I was barely seventeen, I was more advanced in my ways of thinking than most of them. Instead of living from paycheck to paycheck I made a point of saving one third of my paycheck every week. My southern upbringing had taught me to save for a rainy day. After working for six months at Massachusetts General Hospital, I decided that I needed a change in employment. One week later I started work at John Hancock Insurance Company. After working at John Hancock Insurance for a couple of months, I learned of their tuition reinversement program, available to employee.
I enrolled at the University of Massachusetts and from there to Northeastern University. I am happy to report that I completed two degree programs. I earned a Bachelor in Psychology and Master in English Writing. I am so happy that I decided that I didn't want to became another little brown girl that couldn't think for her self.
I am the author of nine published books and the publisher of a fourteen year of literary magazine that publishes teen and adult writers locally and worldwide. I am credited for writing numberless poems, short stories, articles and book-reviews. I have been interviewed by many radio and television host.
My mom is very proud of me. She keeps my books on hand and proudly display them to her friends and family. I am a true believer that the color of your skin don't have to determined how one chose to live his or her life. I will always be “Little Brown Girl” until the day I terminate but with a couple of more added titles.
Copyright 2021 by Shirley Gerald Ware