By Jemel Wilson
Her name was Gale, short for Nightingale. A badass black Caddy sitting on white walled tires. The grill looked like the car had on a fresh set of chrome braces. My grandfather purchased her with money he received from working on the old GM assembly lines. In those days it was hard to own much of anything, so when the neighborhood saw a black man in his twenties riding through the streets in a brand new black Cadillac, they knew you were doing damn well for yourself. It was a luxury that most didn’t get to experience. Other parts of the country were riding on public transportation unable to sit in the front due to the color of their skin.
My grandfather was the role model of the family and everyone listened when he spoke. Every sunny Saturday morning he’d wake my father to help him wash and wax the car. My grandfather would turn on the car radio and turn it up so that the neighbors could hear it on all sides. My father would unravel the hose, drag it out to the driveway and get the bucket of soapy water ready. (more…)