I Stand Tall

by Lolita D. Nunn

I stand tall on my foundation in a city that has shown me both love and hate. As I sit next to the water at riverside park, I feel the sun caress my face. This is my sanctuary, where I find solace and peace as the soothing sounds of water calm my spirit.

Here is where I am flooded with memories of my childhood in a neighborhood called liberty square that no longer exists. A time when double dutch, hopscotch, and games of hide and go seek filled my summer days. A time when being home before the street lights came on was the golden rule. When arguments were settled with fists not guns...have you ever had to knock a stick off a shoulder. I cherish these memories, these moments, these times, that created my foundation.

I stand tall on my foundation in a city that has shown me both love and hate. Where my first experience with racism still haunts my mind. As a child, only 6 years old, to be called a nigga and slapped across the face, shocked, dismay, nowhere to turn.

I stand tall on my foundation in a city that has shown me both love and hate. Here is where my morals were shaped, where I learned to stand up for myself, stand up for what I value, stand up for my beliefs. Here is where I got my first job, experienced my first kiss, and found my first love. Here is where I gained valuable street smarts, common sense, how to navigate in the hood to all levels of society.

Here, I grew from a child into a strong, independent, beautiful black woman. In this city I stand tall on my foundation in a city that has shown me both love and hate. This city I call home. This city I love.