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Women by Women: Nona Faustine

When we were kids, my mom had a favorite anecdote she liked to tell. She was shopping one day in a department store and was waiting her turn at the register when a white woman walked up and proceeded directly to the counter in front of her. Now, my mom was someone who always stood up for herself, and she taught her four daughters to do the same. She tapped the woman on the shoulder, summoned all five-foot nothing of her frame, and said in a loud, clear voice, “As big and Black as I am, I know you see me.” The interloper, suitably chastened, turned without a word and skulked away. Looking back, it’s possible that this actual incident never happened, but I cherished so much this image my mother wanted us to see of her: assertive, proud, and powerful...

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