Writer Montclair’s “Girlz ‘n the Hood” dishes on Compton in the 1970s – San Bernardino Sun

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Sarah Gordon was no ordinary mother. She had 11 children and 7 men. She was a devout Jehovah’s Witness, except when she was not. And she had a gun in her trunk and a pistol in her bra for emergency use. (Sometimes problems find you.)

She wasn’t particularly verbal about her love for her children. If she writes to her daughter Mary, she will sign with “Your Mum, Sarah Gordon”.

According to Mary, now Mary Hill Wagner, it was a nature reserve.

“You don’t have to hang out with your love all over people. You can show your love,” says Hill Wagner. “She wasn’t a fat kissing person. It was deeper than ‘I t ‘love”. ” “

A woman from Montclair has just published a memoir about her childhood. “Girlz’n the Hood: A Memoir from Moms of South Central Los Angeles” That’s the title.

By the way, what is the title of this obvious response to the 1991 film? Megan Thee Stallion SongIs it rarely used? Perhaps this is because women rarely expire.

“There are all these books and movies about boys – ‘Boyzn the Hood’ ‘Straight Outta Compton’ – but there was nothing about the girl,” says Hill Wagner.

She adds, “I wanted to focus on my mom, so I added subtitles.”

His book is simple and compelling read. There are many absurd real-life cases. In their inexpensive building, the second-floor toilet drops from the ceiling to the family toilet. Fortunately, neither was used at the time.

The description is short and colorful. Neighbor Hill Wagner wrote: “It looked like a puzzle put together from several different boxes. “

Hilwagner spent 15 years writing newspapers, endangered community newspapers like Simi Valley Enterprise and Anaheim Bretin in the Las Vegas Sun’s crime office. Perhaps the background describes its straightforward, punchy style.

We prepared to meet at the Café de Montclair. At my request, she brought a picture of her mother. Here is the portrait of a bombed-out graduate of Sarah’s Compton Community College, the first college graduate in her family. During our conversation, Sara looks at us softly.

“Girlz” has a slogan Poet Nikki Giovanni We call her “A wonderful warm memoir A wonderful read that helps bring the important parts of LA together”.

“Maybe I cried,” says Hill Wagner. “It was the moment I thought I was a writer.”

As a girl in the 1970s, now 57, Hilwagner enjoyed listening to adult conversations, sometimes tapping. The habit helps piece together scenes and conversations, as well as diaries and fond memories she kept from ages 12 to 15, but she admits some of them were inevitably made up. to augment.

If there is a hero in this story, it is his mother. In a lean time, she loaded her rifle and looked for a rabbit in a nearby field.

Sarah beat two cottontail rabbits at the kitchen counter, peeled and dressed, then simmered with vegetables in the garden. She sighed and responded when she was scared and said the kids wouldn’t eat at first. The finished stew smelled so good that they bravely dug into it.

Sarah Gordon, left, and her daughter Mary graduated from Compton High School in 1982 when Mary graduated. Sarah is at the center of Maryhill Wagner’s book “Girlz’n the Hood: A Memoir of Mama in South Central Los Angeles“. (Courtesy of Mary Hill-Wagner)

Sarah taught Mary to read the Bible and the comics on her lap. She encourages the individualism of Mary. And she’s a rebel in her own way, telling Mary to stand behind her quietly rather than reciting her pledge of allegiance in class, and not admitting that the founder is the slave’s owner. Discussion with a history teacher.

At the grocery store in the supermarket, Sarah once told Mary that she would not buy grapes because she had to respect the union boycott. “They are new slaves,” her mother explained.

Children were sometimes afraid of her and confused her with others. But they knew she was on their side.

“We were little soldiers and she was our general,” says Hill Wagner with a laugh.

She’s been thinking about telling this story ever since college, when she wrote about her mother to complete the writing duties of the person she respects the most. In middle age, he reread his mother’s letter, “Laughter and Laughter,” and began a childhood memoir titled “As a Ghetto Turn”, focusing on the elements of the soap opera.

The mentor asked her a detailed question about why she was writing it, which caused him to focus on his mother and sister.

There is a lot here for social conservatives to shut up, including welfare checks, illegitimate children, lack of fathers, and a plethora of examples of poor life options.

Hill Wagner says the story is about poverty, the struggle and efforts of a mother to nurture and protect her children. Her mother most often worked as a nurse or maid.

“Fathers, they don’t matter,” says Hill Wagner. “Despite what the world throws at black women and girls, we support the world. Their fathers didn’t stick. She did it.

His mother died in 1990 at the age of 53. “Life in the ghetto was tough,” says Hill Wagner. “It’s hard on people.

She reads the book and signs a copy at Burns & Noble in Montclair Place at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 2, and 2:00 p.m. on October 24. Book an orange carnival.

Hilwagner, a doctorate from the University of North Carolina and a teacher at USC, has lived with her husband in Montclair for six years.

“It’s a nice candle area,” she said with a smile. “Everyone mows their lawns. No shooting. This is very fun. Montclair is not in south-central Los Angeles. Tell me.”

briefly

Wednesday National Coffee Day. According to the Portland personal finance site, WalletHub, Oregon has the highest number of coffee and tea makers per square root population in the United States (0.0211). The number is “42.2 times that of the smallest cities, Riverside and San Bernardino” (0.005). Inland Empire roasted on National Coffee Day.

David Allen writes three bitter beers on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Email dallen @ scng.com, call 909-483-9339 as columnist davidallen on Facebook and follow @ davidallen909 on Twitter.

Writer Montclair’s Girlz ‘n the Hood Dishes on Compton in the 1970s – San Bernardino Sun Source Link Writer Montclair’s Girlz’ n the Hood Dishes on Compton in the 1970s – San Bernardino Sun


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