Meeting the Challenge: Unplanned Single Parenthood

Posted in The Middle Passage by Publisher, Port Of Harlem Snippets on November 27th, 2012

By Gregory Bearstop as it was told by Latasha Alston 

“Get out! Go,” my mother yelled, as a blazing fire swept through our house within minutes. My 5-year-old brother was playing under his bed with a grill lighter when he set his mattress on fire. At 19-years-old, having been uprooted before and gazing at the smoldering skeletal remains of our home, I thought to myself, here we go again. 

Earlier in my life, when I was 9-years-old, my mother worked three jobs to keep a roof over our heads and food in our stomachs. My father was hardly around. When mom was at work, I took care of the household: bathing and feeding my two younger sisters who were then ages 4 and 7 (my brother wasn’t born yet). A few years later, my mother broke her ankle and had to stop working. As a result, we were evicted from our apartment and became homeless. Eventually, my sisters and I were separated. We went to live with various family members in the Washington metropolitan area. Living the hardship we suffered without the support of our father, I knew as a youngster that I always wanted to be independent. This experience also contributed to my growing mistrust of men.

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