'So there I was - a twenty-one year old black female university student walking down a suburban street with a gun, no shoes and murder on my mind. I was going to kill the past. I didn't know what else to do with it'
Stacey Patton today is a vibrant and impressive young woman with a promising career in journalism. Yet her childhood was a battleground of bullying, abuse and mental torture.
Abandoned by her birth mother, Stacey was placed in the New Jersey foster care system and was apparently lucky to be adopted by a hardworking, God-fearing African American couple. Yet something else was going on in this immaculately kept home - punishment in terrible ways, physical, emotional and sexual. Her mother was tyrannical and her father, either so in love with or in fear of his wife, turned a blind eye to the abuse she heaped on their love-starved little girl. Stacey survived by channelling her energy into her school work and her education raised her from the shackles of her unhappy home. Drawing parallels between her own childhood and the treatment of black slaves brought to America, Stacey Patton weaves the moving story of her own painful upbringing with the shameful slave history of America.
Stacey Patton is currently a graduate student pursuing her PhD in history at Rutgers University. She is also a professor at Montclair State University. She has written for The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun, New York Newsday, and Scholastic magazine and is the recipient of numerous journalism awards and academic honors. She resides in New York. To learn more about Stacey Patton visit www.staceypatton.com.
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