" One evening my mother told me that thereafter I would have to do the shopping for food. She took me to the corner store to show me the way I was proud; I felt like a grownup." The next afternoon I looped the basket over my arm and went down the pavement toward th store."
"When I reached the corner, a gang of boys grabbed me, knocked me down snatched the basket, took the money, and sent me running home in panic."
" That evening I told my mother what had all happened, but she made no comment, she sat down at once, wrote another note, gave me more money, and sent me out to the grocery again."
" There he is!" They came toward me and I broke out into a wild run toward home. They overtook me and flung me to the pavement. I yelled, pleaded, kicked, but they wrenched the money out of my hand. They yanked me to my feet, gave me a few slaps, and sent me home sobbing."
"Take this money, this note, and this stick, she said. Go to the store and buy those groceries. If those boys bother you , then fight."
"There is his again! The cry went out.""I'll kill you! I threatened. They closed in. In blind fear I felt the stick fly, feeling it crack against a boy's skull. I swung again, lamming another skull, then another." " I flayed with ears in my eyes, teeth clenched, stark fear making me throw every once of my strength nehing each blow." " The boys scattered, yelling, nursing their heads staring at me in utter disbelief." " That night I won the right to the streets of Menphis."