Reading your book brought to surface many of the occurrences in my life that I have found myself hiding from. You told my story seen through your eyes but from a deferent environment, I honestly thought I was alone In this world until I read your book.
From moving from your home land, to being bullied and picked on for your accent, losing a friend through tragedy and having to meet new friends In a new world, from being physically and mentally abused by your father to molested by a family member, from ranking to numb the pain to Joining a gang/clack to feel at home and have a real family who cared, and finally occurrences to which I could have lost my life. Every story you told had a deeper meaning to me and my stories, you have helped me shine a light on the past which has held a strong grip on me for so long.
Growing up in another country brought to light In my eyes the Importance of family, having respect for your elders, and to speak when spoken to along with not speaking out of turn. I grew up Belize with an abusive/ alcoholic father, in a way he was similar o what you described he was strict on me getting good grades and staying out of trouble: in any way I dishonored or disobeyed his orders he would be waiting my arrival home, his glare which literally made me weak in the knees and most of the time made me cry, but the various objects he would hold to give me my beatings never made me budge in a way; I was ready it was a routine.
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My mother I can say was in a way similar to the mother you described, she was always quiet and never intervened in anything my dad was involved in; she could never defend or protect e, she had to stay quiet, and had to make sure my father was satisfied whenever he was around. The phrase you used on chapter fourteen "l realized one thing- I am my father" really caught my attention. I found myself in life trying my hardest to run away from the thought of becoming my father not realizing that every action I participated in brought me closer to being him.
At the age of eight I started stealing money from my parents and sneaking alcoholic beverages to drink so I could numb myself from my surroundings and the pain I was feeling, then it became worst as mime progressed. I don't usually talk about my best friend because it brings back painful memories and the feeling of hate and revenge, he was my big brother older than me by close to a year but he was too young to lose his life.
I was eight when we loaned the family gang which Included friends and family members, at the age of 10 during a drug deal he was gunned down by a rival gang during their Initiation phase. Seeing my only brother lifeless In a coffin drove me to a dark place and I felt I had to do something about it. When I turned 10 years old my mother who feared for my life took me from my father and we left Belize to come to America; she wanted to give me a new start, a better life and a future to live for.
In Tampa, Florida the elementary school my mother enrolled me In I didn't feel alone the children were nice and friendly although I had my heavy Caribbean accent, then It changed when I graduated and went to a different middle school from the little bit of friend I had befriended the bullies and never was I picked on again; instead I was protected. My other received a better Job in a different location and I had to switch schools.
The second middle school I was enrolled in became my worst nightmare; I was called names, physically picked on by the students and couldn't make friends, I was an outsider and found myself roaming the school yard alone. I became depressed, found myself eating away my pain, and started stealing drinks from my mother's wine bottles and from her boyfriend's liquor collection. I pleaded with my mom for a new change, as a result we moved to Long Beach, California after I graduated middle school; before arriving I swore to myself I would never stand for getting bullied ever again.
In High school I started working out and turned all my fat into muscles and I also found myself getting in too much fights, about close to 70 in the first two years, then I switched schools to a predominated white upper-class high school in which I joined the wrestling team and took the varsity position at ass's my first year, ever since I moved to the new environment my life has changed. I am in college now pursuing a career in the Fire Service; I want to help people not cause harm to them.
I never wanted to be a violent person, I was driven into it because at the time I felt there were no other possible solutions. Today I strongly believe the person I grew up to be does not shape my future, it's my choice; I can either stay and dwell in the past or move forward and strive for my future. You helped me enforce this idea and that's why I am grateful to have had the opportunity to read your novel "l Love Hoys Are For White People".
You can change the lives of many individuals Just by being able to elate, a lot of people feel they have to bottle up their emotions because no one out there would be able to relate and understand. I would and will recommend this novel for all my friends and family to read. I have come to witness that am still here in this world for a reason, I believe in the phrase you used and that is "Eve come across a couple of angels in my days here on earth". I want to say thank you once again for speaking to me through your story and I really appreciate the words you wrote. Sincerely Clifford Usher
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