When my family and I moved back home to America from South Africa, we were not prepared for what would greet us upon our return. The dead of winter in Boston with its frigid temperatures, gray skies, and snow were the least of them. We also noticed that the social climate had changed.
When Momae moved up north to Massachusetts to join Daddy, she brought her most precious possessions stuffed inside my granddaddy’s big brown leather suitcase. She also brought recipes handed down from my Nana, some hastily scribbled on paper, and others committed to memory. Daddy was an ensign in the Navy; his ship docked in Boston harbor..
The entrance to the seafood restaurant is flanked by a series of large windows. Inside I see white folks sit at the bar laughing, and nursing glasses of wine. Some glance as we pass, following us as we enter through the wooden door. We are here to celebrate Jonathan—our son graduated from college today. At the hostess station a passing thought occurs to me—are we welcome here? There has been a recent spike in micro and macro aggression against people of color. These incidents harken back to the racist Black Codes and Jim Crow laws of the past. Laws enacted to segregate and police and regulate Black bodies and behavior.