At an early age, I knew that my father broke a lot of rules by not taking us to church on Sundays. I also knew he was the ‘badboy’ and my mom was the ‘goodie goodie’. I also knew that when he played records on Sunday, Sister Sledge was not the same as Creedance Clearwater Revival.
I also knew at an early age that my grandmother broke rules, sacred ones. I remember seeing her slow movements and brittle bones become healed for three minutes as she danced with my aunt to Chubby Checker and Bill Haley and the Comets. I remember hearing stories of her being ‘naughty’ cause she liked that Black Rock and Roll Music. I remember being told she arrived first to the United States, and not my grandfather. I remember stories of her going to house parties dancing to Black “Merengue” with Black Latinos.
I listened to Hip Hop, studied Black literature, danced to Jungle, dyed my hair blue, argued with my teachers, argued with my family. I remember seeing drugs on tables and reading my schoolbooks on the bus to college. It’s these lampposts that remind me I’m a rulebreaker that I come from a family of rulebreakers.
The veil was on when this was written.