Brian Donovan/Flickr

We were living on McClough Street in Pittsburgh, Pa. I was in the 7th or 8th grade. There were some girls in our school that were trouble-makers. My mother used to oil and press my hair. I had grown up with an Italian lady who knew a lot about hair.

One particular summer these girls would see me in the bathroom and would run a comb through my hair. I told my mother about this one evening. She told me if I would not stop them she would beat me. I saw them the next day. One of the girls lunged at me and I fought her. We rolled down the middle school hill. They came to my house that evening, wanting to make up, “we are here to make up”.