She sat at the counter quietly. They surrounded her like a rabid mob; yelling, screaming, kicking, punching, spitting.
Some yelled, “Go home nigger!”
Others screamed inaudible things from the back. Together their calamity made a soundtrack that played to the beat of racism and oppression. She took a silent stand. A stand that would undoubtedly be left from the history books, but was etched in the stone book she called life.
The melanin in her skin was impervious to their slander, her mental fortitude would not break with their strikes, and her heart was filled with a need that could not be deterred by their fear of change.
She would not go back to Africa, partially due to the cost of a plane ticket but more so because she was born an American. She was born into a country that advertised rights she had yet to see. It advertised freedoms that had yet to provide the sweet taste it did to those of a different skin tone.
She yearned for change, not necessarily for her but for those that came after. Her children, their children and so on.
She did not speak as the hot coffee made its way to her lap, she did not cry when they called her names, nor did she break when a man struck her in the face. She was strong, she was woman. She was fierce, for she was proud to be of a race that had to climb for equality. She was happy, not for the current circumstance but for what it would do for those who did not have to endure her punishment.
She did not smile, she did not gloat when thoughts of the future came to mind, instead she sat erect based on the promise of tomorrow.