On Seeing My Grandpa Strike a Pose at the Beach

Snapshots of my Black history

The author with her grandpa. Photos courtesy of the author

What the textbooks never taught me about Black history, growing up, is that it sat beside me on a plastic-wrapped couch most Sundays, watching reruns of Baywatch over microwaved TV dinners. The lectures never acknowledged that the people who were spat on — taunted, threatened, denied basic human rights on the basis of skin color —…