AN OPEN LETTER TO MY HIGH SCHOOL ENGLISH TEACHER

#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.


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.


Deuces, Smooches...
Nena Grace

About the Writer

Nena Grace is sure to capture your attention and hold you there as she verbally enlightens your soul or mentally brings your mind to multiple cranial orgasms. A native of Chicago, she now resides in Alabama with her two beautiful sons. Reach her on Twitter at @DaRealNenaGrace and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Nena1Grace