Dara Lurie | Longreads | January 2018 | 12 minutes (3,011 words)

This essay is published in collaboration with TMI Project, a non-profit organization offering transformative memoir workshops and performances that invite storytellers and audience members to explore new perspectives. By bravely and candidly sharing their personal stories, storytellers become agents of change for social justice movement building. Dara told an abbreviated version of this story onstage at TMI Project’s inaugural Black Stories Matter show in March 2017.

Peggi’s voice comes muffled through the closed door to her office. Her words come in rapid bursts with long silences in between. In the dance studio, my 6-year-old brother races his tiny Hot Wheels car across the floor. On Peggi’s daybed, I curl over the open pages of a worn fairy tale book kept on a shelf just for me. I keep my eyes fixed on the pages of the book…

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