Corregiodra by Gayl Jones (SPOILER)

Please use caution before reading the link in the last line.

When I bought this book, Corregidora by Gayl Jones years ago, I had no idea what the title meant. Corregidora is a family name. We meet Corregidora, and boy, does he leave a big footprint on the face. It's he who is in the stories of Ursa's great grandmother, grandmother and Ursa's mama. He's incorrigible. His life leads us into the lives of the other men and women in the novel. These are the men who enter Ursa's life. Sadly, the men don't come out smelling like roses.

This led me to think about the Black man just for a while. For a moment, I wanted to think about what makes a man so mean to the woman he supposedly loves. One like Tadpole, whom I respected at first. I wanted him to care for Ursa and make her feel good about herself. Instead, he humiliates her. She sees the darn man making love to a young woman in their bed. I think she was really young, in her teens? I know, let's bark and growl at him. Woof, Woof! Call him those lowdown, mean names.

Afterwards, can we step back and remember he is one of many men who are the sons and grandsons and great grandsons of our women? Since we can't stop the birth of males, let's ask the question what makes you want to hurt a woman with words or with your hands? Why? Surely as Ursa and the other women in her family have a story, the men have a story to share too.  What is their story? As we ask that question, there is the chance that lives might become better for boys and girls of future generations. We can't care about one gender and not the other gender. We can't blame these boys before they have even reached adulthood.

Anyway, I have ignored the Indian, Corregidora. He has power and influence. I'm not ready to think about him yet. I'm familiar with the way he and men of power have taken advantage of women and men for forever. I did think about how must it feel for a Black man to see his woman taken and raped again and again?  Speaking one word in her defense could lead to the lost of their home and worse. Such emotional pain lasts for generations. How it will display itself no one knew at that time and neither do we know in this time when Black males are still seen as sexual, thieving persons who must be locked away.

I am so glad Gayl Jones wrote Corregidora. She made me angry. She made me feel hurt for Ursa as she walked down the street with her pants falling down and bruised. Gayl Jones woke me up again through the words of a novel proving that fiction must continue to be written. Will I uncover all she meant to say? No. Will I misinterpret some of it? Yes. Still, I'm game to try another one of her books one day. In the meantime, I'm not finished yet with Ursa whom I love because of the Blues she sings. Well, that's another


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