Let’s Pretend You’re Black: Ty’Qwonne Blacksten (Part 6)

UNCLE ROCCO

Since you are approaching 17 1/2, you are in desperate need of getting  your  driver’s license. Uncle Rocco, a 48 year old heavyset dark-skinned man with a muscular build akin to Ving Rhames, is your fathers younger brother. Every weekend, he finds time to coach you on driving. Rocco, stays in an upper middle-class city 10 miles South of Troose called Maize Terrace. He is a licensed electrician who works as a lineman for the Edison Co. He is the closest thing you have to a male father figure.

Uncle Rocco:”Damn Ty’Qwonne, You are tryna kill me. The brakes are your friend. You need to ease on the gas pedal. Speed will kill you. Stop right here!”

You:”My Bad Unc’ I’m just excited to get my license. I’m tired of catching the bus. I need that Ford Explorer, like yesterday.”

{The Ford Explorer referenced is an abandoned vehicle in Uncle Rocco’s garage}

Uncle Rocco:”I already told you. You ain’t gonna get nothing if you don’t get them grades up and graduate. When you graduate, I will personally get the alternator replaced and give it a paint job. The pink slip will be handed over to you.”

You:”C’mon Unc’. I’m gonna graduate, but I honestly don’t know what it is that I am gonna do. It feels like I’m lost. I would go to college, but honestly, it ain’t for me. Things is changing Unc’. I read online that Mark Zuckerberg, and Bill Gates ain’t finish college. If they quit college, why should I go.”

Rocco:”If you don’t go to college, Whatchu gonna do?!..Smoke weed and hang with the Ballstone Boys. I know you are hanging with ya cousin Skooby, and he is a bad influence. He is a rowdy wanna-be punk. He doesn’t see himself beyond the hood! You wanna be stuck in the hood?!”

You:”But Unc’ Skooby ain’t as bad as you think. He….”

Rocco:”Don’t But Unc’ me!!! Your father would break out of prison if he knew you was hanging with him. You know your pops wouldn’t go for that bullshit! Let me tell you something about me….I grew up in Troose. I was an Original Troose Crip member. I ran around smoking weed, selling PCP, and driving low-riders!”

You: (Shocked)

Rocco: “I was a shit starting, blue rag banging nightmare. I know all about that lifestyle, but you know what got me out?..”

You: (silent)

Rocco: “They killed my cousin Tracy in broad daylight. In front of his mama’s house” {tearing up, crying}

Rocco: “I knew from that day forward, I had a choice to make. Fuck around and let the hood dictate my future, ending up dead like my big cousin. Or go out here and find a way out. I was lucky. I knew I had a second chance. I went to trade school and became an electrician. It was hard as hell leaving the hood and staying wit Sharice(his wife) and her mom.  Mrs Reece (his mother-in-law) was a sweetheart for taking me in. If it wasn’t for them I would be dead.”

You: (aghast)

Rocco: “So, when I am telling you that you need to graduate from school, I mean it with all my heart. I am telling you from a person who has been where you have been. I used to hang with guys like Skooby. Guess where they at now? The cemetery. None of them made it.”

You: “I understand that Uncle Rocco. It’s just hard to focus on school, when you living in a war zone. I’m living in constant fear that I might get killed, or moms might get robbed or shot by a stray bullet walking home from work. You know how it is Unc'”

Rocco:”You are right, I would take you in if it wouldn’t offend your mom. She is too proud of a woman to let you stay with me.”

You:”Nah, I couldn’t invade ya space like that Unc’..I got too much respect for you. Plus, you know moms ain’t having it. I’m her only child. I am her baby.”

Rocco: “I promised your Daddy that I would take care of you for him. I have to protect you. I don’t want you to be another one of these young boys getting killed or sent to prison off of making a few hundred dollars. Don’t be a fuck up T.Q, you ain’t like these other kids. You are smart. Go to school and be something in life. Skooby ain’t never gonna get past Ballstone Avenue. He is stuck on the 4 corners his gang run. Beyond those lines, he knows he is a dead man. He is stuck on the corner. Skooby is the type of guy that don’t wanna see you go beyond Ballstone either. Remember that.”

Part 7 coming soon.

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11 thoughts on “Let’s Pretend You’re Black: Ty’Qwonne Blacksten (Part 6)

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