"My Man Bovanne"
In An Over-Sized Nutshell
The short story entitled "My Man Bovanne" was written by Toni Cade Bambara published in Gorilla, My Love (1972), a collection of Bambara's short stories. The piece is not at all lengthy but the content hits you like a ton of bricks. The subtle hints of ageism and racism are scattered about all of her writing. This story tells a fictional tale of a woman named Hazel Peoples and her tribulations dealing with a world that seems to have forgotten the importance of elders. Miss Hazel, the protagonist of the story, whom is a mother pushing 60 years old, is confronted by her children for dancing with an elderly blind man at a political party. She is faced with many emotions while her kids prosecute her. She feels like she is being harassed by the police on two accounts, almost as if she is put on the stand and being judged by her own offspring. Her children say that she is dancing "like a bitch in heat" (136). Obviously showing no respect for there own mother. Hazel even knows this and doesn't exactly know how to tackle the situation. She does at one point say "Terrible thing when your own children talk to you like that" (136), but all the while trying to keep her composure and defend herself to her moderating children. Hazel and her family have problems far beyond what is told in this short story. Her daughter Elo and she have issues that go far back. Elo doesn't say much to her mother anymore after an argument they had over Hazel wearing wigs. Elo sneaks in a couple snide comments but at the end of there argument she puts her hand on her mother's shoulder "not sure it was supposed to be there" (137). Hazel goes on to explain that her and Elo were very close and she can't believe that it came to this, Hazel explains, "she can't put a sure hand on me and say Mama we love you and care about you and you entitled to enjoy yourself cause you a good woman?" (137). This exemplifies what Hazel wants out of the...
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