Akeelah Jones

 

By Sarah Dancer

 

            Going to my school is like going to a racist convention. Everyone is racist including teachers, some even quit because of ME! I have two friends though, thankfully, Briana and Joan have been my guardian angels since the first day of school. I love them like siblings and they love me.

 

            It was 7:23 when I walked into school. I put my books up and looked through the cafeteria door not only to find Joan absent, but also to get humiliated by a bunch of white girls who called themselves "The Pinks". This isn't usually what happened.  They normally waited until 6th period or 7th to do their damage.

 

            "Look everyone, it's A Negro Jones!" called one of them named Brittani.

 

            "What is this, a negro convention?" another said named Callie.

They laughed and went back to their tables. Briana was walking up at the same time.

 

             "Girl, forget it. Do what you been doing and ignore 'em. Hey let's go get some apple pie on me," she said. Briana was the type who was like a mom without the bossiness and a sister who knew just what to say. We walked together. At 8:00 the bell rang, the cue that 1st period was almost over say in 3 minutes. So, it was the warning bell. As I packed up my books Briana walked up and gave me a note. - - Three more years till grad and freedom girl. See ya 3rd!

 

            I nodded to her. Then the announcements came on. "Akeelah Jones to the office please", said Miss Briggs.

 

            Everyone said "ooh she's in trouble. Wonder what she did now!" I trudged down to the office with my things and opened the door. Miss Briggs pointed to a chair across from her.

 

            "Ok, Akeelah, many students are saying you are being extremely racist to them. Are you?" she asked. I glared, they are telling on me for things they've done.

 

             "No I'm not. They've been to me, but you don't care." I replied.

 

            "That little outburst just got you detention!"

 

            The day has just begun and I'm already in trouble.  I don't get in trouble at school because my mom knows the principal hates me.

 [5 hours later . . . . . . .]

 

            "Thank god it's 2 minutes till school's out!" I yelled.

 

             "You got detention tomorrow though girl," Briana reminded me.

 

             "Don't ruin my good mood." I said wryly. Then an office aid came into my English class and gave me a letter from Miss Briggs.

 

Dear Miss Jones,

        Many parents are accusing you of ridiculing their children and being rude. I know this is drastic and I have never had this problem with [black] people, but I am afraid I have to expel you. Our numbers keep dropping; also you may not ride the bus today. You have permission to call your mother or father to come get you. Before you leave, clean out your lockers [gym and hall] when you're done bring your textbooks to my office and I will give you a black trash bag to put your things in.  Then you may use the phone.

Sincerely,

 Miss Briggs

 Miss Carol Briggs

 

       I sat there confused. It was my second semester and I was expelled. Briana took the note out of my hands, read it, and sighed.  When my mom read the note she was mad and devastated. The look on her face said it all and I agreed. She still couldn't find a good school in any city or town of the state where we lived for three days. On the fourth she still hadn't found one. I looked at school statuses in the paper.  It said:

 

                        North High-100 students and still dropping

                        Alamo- 600 students still growing

                        Holland- 1,233,000 FULL

 

            I sighed, still dropping because of me and I was gone! I thought enough was enough. "Mom, I am going to school today at North High and NO ONE is stopping me!" I said and ran out the door.

 

             I ran up the school steps. As I went in everyone gave me weird looks.  I went to the office. I saw parents were still taking their kids out. I went to the PA system.

            "Attention everyone! All you white folk need to stop making fun of blacks! We're ALL equal and people, nonetheless!  I am going to stay at North High NO ONE will stop me! This may not be a free country fully - yet, but it WILL be! I just know. Now if you parents got problems with blacks, take your kids somewhere else!" I said.

 

            Miss Briggs walked in with a police officer and I was under arrest for telling the truth. After my hearing in court I was sentenced to 9 years in prison. Until I had another hearing where the jury believed me and I was FREE. It had only been 8 months.

 

            When I was back at school I noticed I wasn't the only black.  There were at least 600 more!  I was amazed.  Apparently when I said that on the PA everyone heard it was connected to the TV, everyone heard my speech. I was famous now! I, Akeelah Jones, went from most made fun of black girl to famous heroine hometown girl nationally.