Corporal punishment has long been a way of life for African-American children. There’s no getting around it, our mothers are just as strict as can be. I’m not complaining – not now, anyway. I grew up with respect for authority and it has gotten me a long way.
I recall one summer when I was about eight years old. I had a friend of mine, Justin, over for the weekend. His parents were liberal and lax, and he hardly even believed my stories about the whippings I would get. That weekend I took him out behind my garage and showed him a pack of cigarettes I had ‘borrowed’ from my mother’s room. His eyes widened. He wasn’t sure he wanted to smoke cigarettes, and he sure didn’t want to get in trouble. But I lit up and must have looked pretty cool. He asked me for one and lit it up, too.