Monday, September 12, 2005

Amazing Grace

McKain Street. Where my mom and her family grew up. Their shotgun shack was under that overpass. In New Orleans, gravel roads don't use gravel, they use crushed white shells. McKain Street was a shell road. The stories my mom told about that street, that shack, could fill a book. Joy and suffering and death and passion, all in three rooms. My grandma still lived there when I was a kid. We called her Old Ma. She made pecan candy for us, and when we would visit she would give us beads and doubloons from Mardi Gras past. My mom, me and my little brother may have lived in poor trailers, but when I visited that pitiful shack on Mckain Street I felt the shame and embarrassment of a rich white tourist in Haiti.

Listen with me:
Amazing Grace - Mahalia Jackson

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