#insaneasylumblog I was wondering what I could do for Black history month. Should I write about a specific person, a certain event? I already share historical facts daily on my facebook page, so I didn't want to do anything like that. So, I took into consideration that the website is called The Insane Asylum, and we normally write about weird and crazy issues. That's when I remembered a paper I wrote on Malcolm X in high school. The grade I received for that was crazy, at least I thought it was. So, I'll just share that story with you in the form of a letter to my former English teacher, Ms. Pounds.
Posted On : 2/12/2012 Author : Nena GraceCategories: denby high school, Malcolm X, ms. pounds, nena grace, oral report, RANDOM THOUGHTS, teacher
Dear Ms. Pounds,
I understand that you have had many students passing through your class over the years, and you may not even remember who I am, but I was that thick light-skinned chick with the long wavy hair, size DD breast and a butt the guys felt compelled to rub on. Oh, I was also that chick who beat up a lot of guys in high school.
I don't know if you can recall, but back in 1989, you gave your College Prep English class an assignment to write about anything or anyone they wanted. It was to be a written assignment that would be presented orally in front of the the class. I can remember being excited about the assignment, since I had recently started reading The Autobiography of Malcolm X. I knew immediately that he was gonna be my topic. I prepped for this assignment like crazy. I wrote and re-wrote drafts trying my best to make sure I remembered to add all details and high points of the book. I made sure I included important dates and times and checked twice to assure that all quotations were as spoken.
The night before my presentation, I recited my report to my brothers for practice. It was perfect. I couldn't wait until the next day in class when I got to show you how much hard work I had put into it. Well, the day arrived and I was anxious. I sat and watched as people stood in front of the class stammering and some practically reading from their papers. I must admit that I silently laughed at them, thinking that I was gonna blow them away when my time came. After what seemed like forever, you called my name. As I walked to the front of the class, I glanced at you, looking at me over your glasses that were sitting on the edge of your nose. I remember briefly thinking that, for such a small frail bodied woman, you were rather ballsy. But you didn't intimidate me. I raised my head higher and I looked straight ahead as I faced the class.
I read my topic and began my report. Although I had my papers in front of me, I knew my report by heart and I recited it verbatim with a superabundance of confidence.
I started off by telling how he was born Malcolm Little in Omaha, Nebraska in 1925, how his mother was a homemaker, his father a Baptist minister and how he had seven other siblings. I told of the tragic death of his father and other events that led to him going to prison and being introduced to the Nation of Islam. I told of how he was an eloquent and powerful speaker that wasn't afraid to say what was on his mind. I can remember quoting him when he spoke on the mixing of races, using coffee and cream as an example. I can also remember the look of shock crossing the faces of some of my fellow White students as I spoke and the smiles and snickers that came from some of the Black students. I remember telling of his homage to Mecca that changed his way of thinking completely and how he was murdered for teaching against the beliefs of the Nation.
As I ended my report, I can remember receiving an applause that was, in my mind, the equivalent to one given to a musical superstar after a concert. I can also remember you telling everyone to see you after class to view our grade. I couldn't wait, I knew I had aced it. As I approached your desk to see my grade, I was smiling from ear to ear. When I looked down, that smile immediately faded. I look at your grade book as you spoke these words, "Although I must admit, you did an excellent job, no one is perfect. Your grade is 99%."
I wanted to slap your glasses from your face. I had put so much work into this report and no matter what you said, I know I deserved 100%. I've thought about this throughout the years and I took this opportunity to tell you this: Though my subjects and verbs may not always agree, my phrases sometimes may not transition well, I may tend to go crazy with my comma usage and I may often dangle a participle or two, bump you Ms. Pounds. Say what you will about the paper I wrote on Malcolm X. I say, I rocked that shit.