In 7th Grade…I wasn’t a good person. All of middle school was a jungle, but 7th Grade was the worse. In 2010, I discovered “Worst,” a manga about a fictional high school filled with delinquents who liked to fight. I think the reason why I was so drawn to those stories was because it reminded me of my own middle school. It felt like my entire class was a gang and honestly…it was ridiculous.
In 7th grade, I cultivated a reputation that I’m not exactly proud of…and yet it served me well. I barely passed, and the main skills I learned was to lie, cheat, and get my way. It was fun at first. But then, things got really bad.
So let’s back it up for a second. Let me take you all the way back to 1999. Think Limp Bizkit’s “Nookie” or Juvenile’s “Back that Azz Up” and you got it. In 1999, I was living in a place called Augusta, Georgia. This is like Atlanta’s more down-south distant cousin, spread out with a lot of woods, flannel, 3XL shirts, and its own state of mind. Here, the culture wasn’t dictated so much by New York or Los Angeles, but by South Park, Power 107 and Y105. This was the true Dirty South. And they were proud. This song was our 7th Grade Anthem.
And the racism…Don’t worry, this isn’t to complain. I don’t know about the other kids, but at thirteen, I never knew the racism was racism. Is self-segregation racist? Because that’s more or less what happened. It’s like if you were born in the sweltering heat of Africa before you knew what air conditioning was. You just accept it as a way of life. We didn’t complain. We truly co-existed. Some blacks were racists against whites. And some white kids were racists against blacks. I had two white kids throw a big ass rock that almost hit me in the back of my head, but instead banged against the dumpster. Almost like a prison, in fact, a lot like a prison, everyone seemed to stick to their own.
Except if you were in my class. The arrow is pointing at me.I’m not kidding. If there was any racism from my classmates, none of us showed it. The blacks got along with whites and vice versa. Like I said, we were like our own gang and we took care of our own. I think that’s one of the reasons why we had so much fun. Team 7B’s Ms. Thompson’s class was the place to be. Even other kids were trying to get transferred to ours.
You see, middle school was a place where money doesn’t matter. No one was driving cars. No one had a job. You’d think this’d give us room to focus on things like grades and studying…but for us guys, all we cared about was our reputation. Whether you were a punk, whether you were cool, a baller, a wanna be gangster…or whether you could fight.
Alright, enough of the prologue. Let’s get in it.