On U.S. soil – February 14, 1979

Dear Diary,

It’s been a long time since I’ve written anything.  I wish I had kept up with spilling my guts in this book.  A lot has happened.  I’m 21 today.  I’m married to a man named Jake and we’re living with his parents in Connecticut.  I just came to the States a week ago and spent the first two days with my eyes glued to the TV.  I can’t believe they have it on 24 hours a day.  Stores are open all night too.  I miss home though.  Let me tell you what happened to me tonight.

Jake and I, and some of his friends went to a pizza parlor/club type place.  When we got to the door, they asked for ID.  I wasn’t sure why they wanted it because we were in America now, where the threat of war doesn’t force us to carry identification even in our sleep.  Jake told me they were carding us because of the drinking age.  That’s a new one.  Why is there a drinking age?  Anyway, the guy took mine, looked at me and said my kind was not allowed in their establishment.  Jake got furious.  I wasn’t sure what he meant.  I’m old enough, because the drinking age is 18.  He meant because I’m black.  My military ID has my race on it. Jake is white.  I couldn’t believe it.  Jake wanted to hit the guy, but his friends and I pulled him away, and said we’d go somewhere else.  For the first time in a lot of years I thought of Latoya.  I promise to write more because I’m sure this kinda stuff is gonna happen again.

Is this what life is going to be like in the States?

Talk to ya later.