I grew up in a big African-American family (three daughters, two sons) in Alabama, US, in the early 1980s, and spankings were an almost daily part of family life.
When we were little, the boys got their pants taken down and us girls got our skirts raised up and put over Momma’s knee for a good old-fashioned spanking. These were always given on the bare bottom. Momma used to say things like: “I ain’t got no argument with the seat of your pants!”
But when we got older, like a lot of black families, it was the belt that was in use. When you misbehaved, you would be sent to your room and be expected to have your bottom half stripped by the time Momma came up with the belt. Unlike many families, ours was actually a proper punishment strap our mother got from somewhere – I never knew where – and was just like a straight strip of thick leather with a wooden handle.
Momma would lecture us for a minute or two, then we would be ordered to lie down on our bed, bottom up, and she would beat us good. The belt was always given in private but everyone in the house would know what was happening – you could clearly hear the sound of the leather hitting a bare backside and the screaming and crying of the kid being disciplined.
I remember one time, when I was about nine, I got caught stealing candy from a local store. Naturally, I was caught and the store owner got my number out of me and called my mother, who came to collect me. I think she was just grateful he hadn’t called the police.
Pretty soon, I was wishing he had. It was straight upstairs to my room when we got home and I had to wait while Momma smoked a cigarette to calm down before she came up to thrash me.
I was pretty ashamed and don’t recall much of the lecture. I’d already taken my dress and panties off, as any child who kept Momma waiting to beat them would get it twice as bad. Then, at her word, I lay down – on this occasion, I recall, Momma put a couple of pillows underneath my groin to raise my bottom for the punishment.
The whoppin’ I got was unbelievable. I howled like I was dying, and after about two seconds I didn’t care who heard me, either. It seemed to go on forever as the leather seared my butt. She left me eventually, a crying and quivering wreck.
I know plenty of folks here claim they were unable to sit after a spanking but I truly was. Even during breakfast next morning, I was weeping quietly as I tried to sit on my sore little bottom. Momma took pity on me and told me I could stand to eat, so I did. Needless to say, I have never stolen another single thing in my entire life!