(thanks to KABEER for the scan…)

here is a photo of me and one of the greatest friends i’ve ever had – LA’KEA WHITE. we lived down the block from each other in downtown Albany and she had attended my middle school, but was now in 9th grade at the time of this photo at Bishop Magin High School (my friends were always older than me). i remember that year…

it was the same year that i decided to stop wearing my CHARLOTTE HORNETS STARTER jacket and trade in my REEBOK classics for some PUMAS, a skateboard and a gas station attendant jacket with the name “RALPH” embroidered on the left side. i found it at SALVATION ARMY.

this only added fuel to the fire for the 4 MEAN GIRLS in my class to further harass me. leaving me threatening notes and mumbling comments like “she thank she cute”. actually, i didn’t…i had a unibrow, a face like a chipmunk and disliked my new “womanly” body (puberty is weird for any kid, but even more awkward for girls).

by the time 8th grade rolled around, i was the only misfit in my school. LA’KEA now in 10th grade, stuck by my side. when people asked her “why she trying to be white”, LA’KEA always defended me. when the girls at school became a nuisance, KEA made an unannounced visit with a slew of her homegirls from her sophomore class to put a little fear in their lives…and it worked.

thanks LA’KEA.

and thanks to my sister for showing me the world of waxing and tweezing. i still haven’t gotten my fashion sense together, but i’m positive i never will.

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