America’s “Waffle House” Mentality (Part I)

(Photo: Denny’s, circa 1967)

Walking into Denny’s restaurant, all I could think about was that burger. I was probably five years old. Maybe a year older, I cannot remember exactly. What I did know was that I wanted that burger and fries more than anything else in the world – something starkly different from the style we would get at home: a huge ground beef patty in between two slices of Evangeline Maid white bread. Even though there was more meat in the homemade version, somehow I always felt cheated.

But not tonight.

(Photo: Flickr)

We ordered. Hopefully, we wouldn’t have to wait for what seemed like an eternity – like the last time we were there. Took about an hour for our food to arrive. My dad chalked it up to a busy night. Nothing more, nothing less. At least that’s what he was sanguinely trying to convince himself of, I’d imagine.

This night, however, while anxiously waiting for my food, I looked around the restaurant full of white people and spotted a Black family seated on the other side of the dining area. Continue reading “America’s “Waffle House” Mentality (Part I)”

M-V-P…M-V-P

(Photo: CAIR, Chicago)

I don’t think I’ll ever forget that game.

We were riding around the city when someone mentioned that there was a basketball tournament at one of the area’s high schools. A team from Gulfport, Mississippi had a star point guard that was playing that night against one of the city’s best high school teams – Washington-Marion High School – so we made our way toward the gym. Washington-Marion was, to us, the best team in the city. A predominantly Black high school located on the north side of town, I always viewed WM as a representation of our Black community – particularly through sports – even for those of us who didn’t attend WM. When any of their teams played, the Black community would be out in full force. Even as a kid, my father would take me to the football games on Friday night. Those cold-ass Friday nights in Goosport.

And I couldn’t wait. Continue reading “M-V-P…M-V-P”