I can relate. I also survived. Others don’t. When I was attending graduate school at Berkeley while riding a local East Bay transit bus, the Telegraph Avenue line I came face to face with a woman who had lost the war with herself and internalized racism. She was wearing a ragged mishapen wig. Her faced was covered with a thick coat of pinkish pancake make-up. She hid her eyes behind dark glasses. She was clearly not well. She reeked of urine. The young Black school boys screamed and shrieked as they laughed at her, held their noses and ran off the buses. Other passengers moved as far away as they could. I stayed on the bus for a few more stops. Stinky haunts me. She is a ghost particular to Black girls.

Veteran Cat Servant