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Boondock Kollage

Stories from the Hip Hop South


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 10: The Apothecary


← 102 | 103 →

· 10 ·


Band camp started on a Wednesday, two weeks before I started my freshman year of high school. My stomach turned and jumped that morning. I threw up my breakfast. Mama gave me a coke and told me to sit down.

“It’s okay to be nervous,” she said.

In middle school I was the first chair clarinet in Mr. Barnett’s advanced band. I wanted to try out for the marching band because of my cousin, Drea. “Marching band keeps you busy and everybody knows that people come for the 5th quarter.”

“What’s the 5th quarter?”

Drea shakes her head. “The only part of the game that matters. When the bands battle. You better come correct.” Drea played the tenor sax and was the only girl on the saxophone line. She took it serious and made sure I knew she wouldn’t rescue me. “You gotta show and prove, youngin’.”

Drea got her license the week before on her birthday and offered to drive me to the first day of camp. My daddy refused. “We’ll take her. I want to talk to the director and ask a few questions.” Drea shrugs and shoots me an “I tried” look. We both knew what daddy really wanted to do: check out the boys and let them see I was his daughter. ← 103 | 104 →

That morning, music blasted from open car doors and...

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