Monday, June 18, 2018

Amanda Grihm Shares Story of The Dark Skinned Sister...





Cindy shot out the car, ran up to--and jumped in Grandma Mindy's arms. "Hi Gamma Mindy, I missed you." Grandma Mindy laughed and blushed while Cindy kissed he all over her face. "You look so pretty, Gamma Mindy."
"Oh, oh, this child, I say, Georgie, this one is becoming more beautiful each year. She's still just as light as a feather and her light skin is so pretty," Grandma Mindy said through a grin so big that it looked like her face should have hurt. She put Cindy down, kissed her on her forehead and straightened her clothes. Joseph got out the car slowly, walked up to her and kissed her on her cheek. "Hi Grandma Mindy, I am happy to be here this summer."
Grandma Mindy smiled broadly and said, "I am glad you could come, too. Oh, honey, try to do your chores before the sun comes out. You look like you done been in the sun. That ain't good for you, 'cuz you git'n a little dark." Grandma looked at me and picked Cindy up again. I was half way up the walk almost at the steps when I noticed a look of disdain on Grandma Mindy's face. I walked onto the porch and leaned over to kiss her on the cheek but she quickly turned and took a step back...
"Hi Grandma Mindy."
"Hello Mindy."
She had hurt my feelings again but this time they weren't hurt as bad as the other times. I was becoming immune to her insults. I closed my eyes and took a long deep, breath. She ain't even human, she is just like a glass figurine--one push and she'll fall over and break. I opened my eyes but she was still standing there looking at me with an intense look of disapproval.
In my mind I sized her up and could see m'self placing my hand on her shoulder and tipping her perfectly erect body over. I laughed at the thought of her glassy icy facade shattering as it hit the ground. I know it was a mean thought but that's what went through my mind. Grandma Mindy was my height or maybe a fraction of an inch taller and I felt like I could take her if it came to that...
~~~

In the midst of my reading an anthology, How Dare We! Write:
A Multicultural Creative Writing Discourse, edited by Sherry Quan Lee, (look for my review) I received The Dark Skinned Sister, by Amanda Grihm. The premise of both books relates to those of different races who decide to write their stories... I stopped to read Amanda's book and found that considering both books at one time provided a greater depth, a growing sense of relationship--a kinship that could develop between and among women of all races that I, as a white woman, would also benefit...

Women hesitate to share their innermost stories... Such was the case with Mindy, who at 10 years, came to intimately know and learn about people who created barriers between who they were with little girls who happen to have dark skin... What was amazing, though, was that many times, the pain was inflicted by those within her own race...



And it especially hurts if it is from a family member. Mindy had been named after her grandmother. In fact, Mindy's grandmother was darker that she was... It was therefore especially hard to understand why her grandmother said such nasty things to Mindy...

Yes, Mindy had similar problems at school and as she grew older. She noticed that African Americans who had lighter skin were better accepted by other students. But her skin was the color it was...

Until, she tried to change it, first, by skin lightener...and then by using a cleanser to rub and rub her skin, hoping to lighten it. Instead, her skin was broken and her wounds began to bleed.

Mindy's grandfather had always been special for her and they would ride together and more... But he had a heart attack that summer and that happiness was taken away...

Depression soon arrived from having to deal with her pain--why was her dark skin causing so much turmoil in her life? What could she do about it?

Mindy was part of a single-parent family and her mother had to work hard to keep her two girls and son sheltered and fed. Soon her older brother was called on to help, but he soon realized that his own life was gone as he tried to fill the man's shoes for his family. As they grew older, it became worse before it got better...

This is an emotional, inspirational book about meeting adversity head on... I laughed and cried and certainly empathized with Mindy. I remember when I was about 10 also, I was at my grandmother's along with other family. An uncle looked at me and said "Hey Fatty..."  I ignored him and to my mother said, "Dale is talking to you." My response was that "No, he wasn't. That is not my name..." I walked off... 

Each of us must decide whether or not we will love ourself and others as God made us. I chose to accept the challenge, just like Mindy, when I was hurt and treated cruelly or unjustly. I urge those who have been treated this way, or that has children who are being bullied, to read this book. Highly recommended!




GABixlerReviews



Amanda Grihm was born in Youngstown, Ohio and raised in Cleveland, Ohio from the age of nine. In 1987 she moved to Atlanta, GA, where seven year later she met and married the man of her dreams, J. Emil Grihm. Amanda is an author and playwright.

Amanda writes about stranger-than-fiction events and stories. She communicates at several different levels - verbally, visually, physically and psychologically. She is a nurturing spirit and an extraordinary communicator. She writes from her heart and her mind’s eye about love, friendship and spirituality. She sees everything that she writes in her mind before her pen touches the paper. Amanda enjoys writing on that almost indistinguishable line between truth and fiction and fantasy and reality.

Amanda’s main focus has been on the coming-of-age stories about African American and Indigenous Indian girls becoming strong, independent women. Amanda and many members of her family have had psychic experiences. Consequently, many of her stories delve into the supernatural. Amanda believes that God has availed Himself to her and freed her from the bonds of man’s interpretation of His Word and her capabilities. Consequently, some of her stories are about her personal power and the power of God in her life.

Amanda is also a businessperson and former business owner who has always had a genuine desire to improve situations and a unique ability to solve problems. Her ultimate aim is to improve the experiences of employees and customers. As a result of her keen attention to detail, after a few weeks of starting her first job, she was promoted to efficiency expert at a major insurance firm.