January 7, 1974

Dear Waseme,

I like the name I gave you.  It’s African.  I’m sorry I haven’t had time to write but I’ll tell you what’s been going on.  Everything about me has changed.  I have a new name.  Rawala.  It means, let them say what they want.  Cool, huh?  I’m learning all kinds of stuff about black history.  It’s kind of hard to find stuff; cause there’s not a lot of books on it at the library.  I joined the Black Student Union and we have meetings once a week to talk about how to help the black cause.  My dad is really pissed at me about this.  He keeps telling me I won’t get far in life if I keep this up.  I don’t really understand that, but I ask him if it’s wrong to be proud about where I came from.  He tells me that’s in the past and we live in a New World where we have to fit in with the white man, not fight him.  I guess he doesn’t fight repression, because he’s married to a white woman.  So anyway, my old friends don’t talk to me anymore.  They don’t understand.  I really miss them.  Every once in a while, I put on some Led Zepp and rock out.  I miss my old music.  Aerosmith is coming in concert in June and I really want to go, but that’s my old life.  I have a new purpose now.  Being black and proud of it.  Everyone in the Union picked African names and we fought to have them put in the yearbook.  No luck.  But, we know who we are.  I promise to write more often.

Talk to ya later.