NYU Black Renaissance Noire Fall 2015 Volume 15.2 - Page 45

Eva nodded. “Walking home I see a bunch of low-life white trash, maybe five or so, out searching for a Negro, any Negro to blame. They see our neighbor’s son, walking home with his mom’s groceries. The boy is all of fourteen years old.” “Nice young man. Like his Dad.” “We were walking not far from one another, when he trips and falls.” “Sidewalks are especially icy.” “Exactly. These rednecks jump Jerome and hold him down and they begin beating and kicking him and are about to drag him away. I screamed out, like a southern white woman’s voice, ‘What the hell are you doing? Don’t hurt him; his name is Jerome. Leave him the hell alone.’” “I told them that those were my groceries he was carrying and that he and his mother work for me. I begged them, “Y’all can now please leave us alone, thank-kee!” Eva slumped down in a kitchen chair. “Because of my skin color, they believed me.” “Friggin’ jackals. They never let up, not for one minute. I’m sorry you had to go through that Baby…especially on the day before I leave for California,” Al said. “I can’t stay in this segregated and dangerous town. They hate us here. I’ve had enough.” Eva paused a few seconds to catch her breath. “I’ve made up my mind Al. I’m gonna leave and I will never return as long as Jim Crow is alive and well in the South.” “The South?” “I don’t give a damn about it. It can go to hell as far as I’m concerned.” “I understand you sweetheart. But make no mistake,” Al said, “There’s plenty of prejudice up North.” “I know, but now I’m worried about Jerome. I called out his name, and those peckerwoods heard me. It won’t be long before they figure out where he lives.” “Let me put the milk in the fridge. Do you want to sit in the living room?” “I don’t care. Al, Jerome?” “The Klan will surely come looking to torture and lynch him. And over such bullshit. Jerome has got to leave North Carolina tonight.” “I already spoke to his folks.” “The Klan’ll come looking for you too, Eva. They’ll figure out who you are and where we live.” Al felt uneasy as he faced their new reality. “At least it will be dark soon. We’ll be able to leave then. There’s no time to waste, mi amor.” BLACK RENAISSANCE NOIRE “Wait. He accidently bumped her?” Al could hear the pain in her voice. 43 “A white woman claimed that while walking down the street a colored man did not get out of her way. She said that she stopped and he bumped her as he passed her.”