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Whippings

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Those of us born in the south and came through childhood days in the south are not unfamiliar with “whippings”. Whippings, plural, because they occurred on a regular basis. My most “infamous” whipping came one school day afternoon when I decided to go with everybody else down Roden lane and Miller. That intersection in Gladewater, Texas was a well traveled area and prone for accidents and was considered dangerous. However after school, that’s where all of the kids would walk and it was the “in thing ” to do. Well, my mother, Mrs. Ruby Johnson gave strict instructions for me to take White Street, which was less traveled and a safer place to walk home after school. I walked home that way everyday and mostly alone because all of the other kids were going down Roden Lane and Miller .

Well the one day that I decided I needed to be with all other kids, my mother came home early and as I walked down the busy intersection I saw her in the yard trimming hedges and worse, she saw me. It was at that point, I knew what was in store for me and I had already reserve my mind to my fate ahead, but what I didn’t know that it was going to happen in front of all of the other kids that I had chosen walk with near that busy intersection . So I decided to walk past my house and come through the back door, but my mother whipped me in front of all of the kids and it seemed like 400, probably no more than 10 or 12 but that whipping I received in front of all of those kids was the talk of the school the next day and I had marks to remind me of what happened. What happened, was that I had disobeyed my mother’s rules and the results were marks on my body that lasted for a few days. My mother was not arrested or charged with a crime, although I thought she should have been and I’m sure there are others of you who feel the same way about your parents and the whippings you received while growing up in the south.

Adrian Peterson is from Palestine Texas and I’m not saying what he did was right, but I do understand. I realize times have changed and it’s a new day of raising our children and we have adjusted to a new way of raising our children. However, as I look at the Adrian Peterson ordeal from afar, it reminds me of “back in the day” when whippings were legal and often. And still today, when I go back to Gladewater and drive through Roden Lane and Miller, I am reminded of how dangerous that intersection still is. What could a four year have done to receive a whipping that left marks on his body? I don’t know that answers but I have been on the receiving end of that kind of whipping. Peterson has said he was doing what was done to him in terms of how he was raised and it’s not right, but that’s the way it is in the south….just my thoughts.

  • Joyce Jones

    My mother was from Beaumont, Texas and we lived in a 4th floor tenement apartment in Harlem, USA. There were no bushes/trees to get switches off of, so the removeable iron- cord was what was used for whippings. Yes, those beatings produced whelps but not a trace today that I endured that period of getting some serious whippings. I became an authentic woman with her teachings and yes, those ‘whoopings’…..

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