Henrietha (Joyce M. Johnson)


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Publication Date: 6/25/2019
B&W 6 x 9 in or 229 x 152 mm
Page Count: 306


Ruthie often traveled on the subway with her best friend Jem from the church where they attend often. She told me that the pastor had brainwashed her. When the abused came to light to her pastor, he called her stepfather and setup a counsel session for him but not for Ruthie.

Often times, Ruthie traveled on the subway with her friend Jem, and they discussed their abuses as Jem was abused also. They share many interests in life. Ruthie said thoughts of jumping across the train tracks often crossed her mind. Jem talked her down at times. One night, she came home and had me cornered in my bedroom with her eyes blazing with fire as she sat me on the bed and yelled at me, “Why didn’t you come over to my house and save me from the abuse? I was waiting for someone to save me. I can still smell the scent of Jason on me. Night after night and Sunday after Sunday, when he came home from church, he had me as his sex slave. Grandma you said you felt in your mind something was not right, so why didn’t you come and kick the door down and find out what was going on?”

“But, my dear, I did call the Children’s Aid. I told them what you said, that you were sleeping in the closet at one time, and they came and visited. They called me and told me all was good in the home. There was nothing else I could have done.”
She left that night with her friend, and three days later, I heard from her that she is in British Colombia. They took the bus. She said if she hadn’t left the province, she would have jumped the subway track. As you know, Joanna, there is a finished rooftop on my building. Many times, whenever Ruthie comes home, she would go to the rooftop even before she goes to bed. She said she finds peace and comfort there. She felt like God was up there waiting to talk and comfort her.

Is domestic work really for black women? It seems that way. Whenever some white person or others meet you and talk about work, it seems they are waiting for you to say that this is the job you are doing.

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