Ring ring ring.
Keisha: “Miss Tasha?? It’s Keisha*”
Me: “What’s up? Sweetie, it’s really late, why are you up?”
Keisha: “I need to talk to you. I promise you I didn’t know”
Just from that statement alone I knew I was in for some news I didn’t want. Holding on to the promise of an 11 year old is an uncertain thing to do, but way in the back of my mind and the back of my heart I just knew she wasn’t going to allow herself to be compromised in that way.
Me: “What didn’t you know?”
Keisha: “He told me that it wasn’t sex if I let him put it in my ass-hole. Sorry, I know that’s not good to say that word like that, but that’s what he said. So I let him, but I found out that it was sex. I promise I didn’t know”
Me: (to myself: Lawdamercy!) “Wait. You mean what we talked about. Saturday at the party?”
Keisha: “Yeah. Miss Tasha, I’m sorry. I didn’t know. I didn’t know!!”
Me: “Calm down, I’m not mad. Are you okay though? I mean like is your body ok?”
Keisha: “Yeah, I’m okay and I’ll be at practice in the morning. I can dance fine. Why?”
Me: “That’s not what I meant. But nevermind. Honey, did me make you do that with him?”
Keisha: “No. He told me it would be okay because it wasn’t really sex. But then I found out from my sister that it is, and I’m mad at him because he lied to me. But now he won’t speak to me”
I must have stayed on the phone with her for about two hours listening to her and letting her know that the world isn’t going to hate her for doing what she did. She confided in me that he up until that point didn’t know how old she really was–she’d told him that she was 14, compared to his 16. I gave her the biological breakdown of everything surrounding what she did, what she’d originally considered doing, and what could have happened–I really don’t trust the women in her family to handle that given the way they carry on.
With this being the beginning of Black History Month, this is not the history I want her to be creating for herself. Too many of our people have died trying to get us on an equal playing field with the rest of the world, and we insult their legacy every time we teach a young person that it’s perfectly alright to compromise themselves and be mediocre “because it’s cute”.
At the end of our conversation, she said to me, “No one ever told me I was good at anything, except you when you first started teaching me to dance. Maybe one day I will be able to help people too and tell other people that they’re good”. I can only hope that maybe with the right amount of guidance, and keeping her around positive minded women of every race that her Black HerStory changes for the better.