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Boondock Kollage

Stories from the Hip Hop South

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Regina N. Bradley

Boondock Kollage: Stories from the Hip Hop South is a collection of twelve short stories that addresses issues of race, place, and identity in the post–Civil Rights American South. Using historical, spectral, and hip hop infused fiction, Boondock Kollage critically engages readers to question the intersections of regionalism and black culture in current American society.

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Chapter 5: Beautiful Ones

Extract

← 46 | 47 →

· 5 ·

BEAUTIFUL ONES

We live off of Lonesome Road. There are no streetlights. Our only neighbor, Mr. Janks, lives a quarter of a mile down the road. Him speaking to us is a slight nod of his head while blasting Velvet 105.5 blues from his pickup truck. At night the darkness is thick and has teeth. My brother Stinney disappeared on an early Summer night. It was chilly, like Spring’s last stand. The school year was over. Stinney strutted around the house saying “a senior lives here. You better recognize!” Pook was graduating that next Saturday. He was our cousin and Stinney’s best friend. Pook’s mama Aunt Letta was Mama’s middle sister. They came to town after the storms hit Louisiana. Pook’s exaggerated vowels kept him connected to home. Girls at school loved when he said “hey bee-beh.” Pook’s a year older than Stinney and biscuit and fatback thick. Never seen without his Polo boots, Pook had locs with blonde tips that Mama demanded he tied back when he visited.

“You look messy, boy,” she fussed after a loc hit her in the eye when Pook hugged her. “Aintee, it’s just hair,” Pook laughed and swung his head. Mama raised her hands in front of her to avoid being hit.

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