‘Run Gill’ Linda and Delamie shouted in harmony.
I bent to tie my shoe lace and then dawdling, stood again, turned in the direction that all the noise was coming from, hand to my brow to shade the early evening sun from my vision. Then a stillness settled and that strange crescendo rose from the silence just like it does before a storm is brewing. I watched as if outside myself. The biggest boy picked up a stone, weighed it in his hand.
‘BLACKIEEE’, he shouted. There was just him and me, at least that’s how it felt. That’s how it felt, him, me and the missile, cruising, impossibly slowly towards my third eye.
‘Come on, it’s going to hit you’ Linda Wright’s voice pierced my stasis, and in a split second the target became my brow bone instead of my eye. But it couldn’t have hit me, he was too far away. The red rain told a different story as it rippled through my lashes. In disbelief I placed my index finger to my head, saw the trickle of blood, and finally started running blindly, away from the building site, where we shouldn’t have been.
So very close to blinded.
A pale blue and cream police panda car took me to hospital, to three stitches and a scar I still bear. I don’t suppose the racist bully remembers. No-one punished him, a little brown girl didn’t matter much in 1967.
23 thoughts on “A little brown girl tale”
This made me weep. Is 1967 so different from now? You create the incident so tellingly.
Sorry to make you sad, doe it help to know that the telling is cathartic?
Gilly: Didn’t you share this story a couple years back.?…I have memories of feeling sad for you. Kids can be so cruel and horrible and unfortunately learn from their elders. . I hope you don’t ever suffer this discrimination ever again
I may have done, it’s hard to keep track of what I’ve posted here and what I’ve taken to my writing group. Sorry for being repetitive. It’s good to see you back 🙂
Thank you for sharing this. It is a reminder that the cruely of racism must not be revisited. xxxxxx
One of my friends in that era was a coloured student, and I remember him telling us about some of the insults and bullying he endured..(in the college.) e never reported any even though he was advised to do so. Shows what kind of person he was. It was a huge sadness at the time,, over a period of approx 4 years we all became fairly close, but he he eventually returned to his home in Chichester. Well captured Gilly…
This is sad 😦 We still have a similar situation here in Latvia but between rich and poor children. And by rich, I mean possessions, not humanity!
Such a sad tale, Gilly. I’m glad the retelling gives you some release. I find such incidents infuriating and mystifying.
So sorry this had to happen to you, Gilly. I had a big rock hit me in the back of the head when I was kid too but it wasn’t a racial thing. I was just badly bullied. It stays with you, forever, for sure.
this makes me mad – and ugh – but I do think it helps when we share and raise awareness about such topics – because sadly – stuff like this still goes in on all these decades later…
Some bully picking on a small girl. It hurts to think of the pain and unfairness of it all.
I love this line, Gilly, “The red rain told a different story as it rippled through my lashes.” Wow. ❤ ❤ ❤
So sorry this happened to you, it’s awful. Every time I look back on myself around the same time I feel a bit ashamed. I never bullied anyone, but I don’t remember making any special effort to include those left out for being perceived as different for some reason, and I realise now there were some very lonely children about.
A riveting account of what must have been a horrific experience for you, Gilly. So glad the stone missed your eye. 😘
Powerfully, beautifully told!
Racism is abhorrent and yet it goes on and on…We are people first, regardless of color or socioeconomic status or IQ or mental and physical health issues or age — any other descriptor is just that, a fact regarding something otherwise apparent. I have a spouse, some children and grandchildren who are multi-racial and it is always a brief momentary startle when others note it…
I have never been able to understand racism. The town in the southeast of England where I was born had people from all over the world: in fact, my class at primary school in the early 1960s had pupils of around seven or eight different nationalities plus mixed race, as well. We moved to a neighbouring county when I was 11 and I was totally nonplussed. Half the population was missing! There were only white British people around. It really felt as though a huge chunk of the world had disappeared.
In my school year there was just me, even in grammar school there was only one other mixed race girl!
This is beautiful, Gilly! Such an evocative piece of writing. 🙂 We want more!
A chilling tale of horrible discrimination and bullying. We like to think that these incidences
don’t effect us but they live much longer as scars in our hearts than scars on our outer countenance. Gilly, this was touching and heartfelt. Blessings, dear friend.
Will the world ever change, Gilly? A beautifully written memory, both sad and scary, yet such a poignant testament to the “… condition [our] condition is in …” worldwide. Re-blogging.
Reblogged this on Cheryl Andrews and commented:
Racism. Bullying. Violence. Scars. Is 2017 any different than 1967? Oh what a horrifying ‘… condition [our] condition is in …’ world wide.
Wonderfully written Gilly; I think you will always find bullies, but never on their own.
That little brown girl has always mattered! Shame on him ..