Check out the essay I wrote for the September/October Horn Book Magazine! An excerpt:
It’s not too presumptuous to say that if you gather a few middle-aged African Americans to wax nostalgic over childhood hijinks, sooner or later the whipping stories are told.
I usually tell about the time I said “no” to one of my mother’s commands, which was unheard of. I packed up my knapsack and said I was leaving home. I was nine. It was dark outside. She opened the door and let me go. I remember my defiant march beyond our wooden fence . . . and making it as far as the end of the block, when I heard a howl from (I was sure) a rabid dog or a coyote. I ran home, banged on the door, and cried for my mother to let me in. She did. Then she told me to go into her room and get a belt.
Read the whole thing here!