THE CRANKY OLD MAN
Random thoughts and stuff from a cranky old man. Humor (maybe), satire, and some politics, mostly stuff from a confused head.
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Monday, April 10, 2017
Hit Da Right
Hit Da Right
ninth grade through college, I lived in a rather well-to-do town in central New
Jersey.In this town, your family was
either really rich, wealthy, or doing-OK.The doing-OK families would probably have been considered doing-really-well
in many communities of the 1960’s.
The town was
divided by railroad tracks into the north side and the south side.The north side was almost all really rich or
wealthy, the south side was mostly doing-ok’s.I lived on the south side. I
guess my family was on the high side of doing-ok. We had two junior high schools in town.
side was Edison Jr high, the north side was Roosevelt.Edison had probably 12 African Americans in
the ninth grade, Roosevelt had none.Edison beat Roosevelt in all the sports we played against each other…I’m just saying.In those days, white kids referred to African American
people as “Black.” Actually it might have been “Negro,” but I’ll choose selective
memory loss on that.
I don’t recall
any major racial discord or issues in those days. This was 1960, 61 and as a white kid there
were no racial problems.I’m guessing
the black kids had a much different opinion, but it was a few years before they
found their voice.
was probably about 20-1 white, but the black kids were definitely the
coolest.The white kids copied the black
kids cool walking style, kind of an amble with an occasional limp thrown
in.We copied their clothes style, and
we copied their speech.We used a lot of
“Ain’ts” “Yo’s” “Ah man’s” and “F-dat’s.” There were also two phrases that I still
“The hawk is out.”Meant it was cold and windy.This
is actually a fairly common term, I believe from the black community, and I
still hear it occasionally today.
“Hit da right.”Meant tell the truth.This phrase
was used almost every other sentence in the ninth grade, and I don’t remember
ever hearing it before or since.It
comes, I assume, from putting your left hand on the bible and raising your
right hand when swearing in at court.I
don’t think any of the black kids in school ever had to “Hit the right” in
court, but they used the phrase and soon we all used it.
“Yo man, hit da right the hawk is out
“Hit da right you got a “B” in
“Hit da right you skipped school
“Hit da right you got an apple with
“Hit da right you hit da right.”
In the tenth
grade we all went to the one High School where we were joined with the snootier
Roosevelt kids.Most of us never mixed a
lot with the Roosevelt kids, but for some reason we did change our speech a
bit.I think it was to better impress
the snooty Roosevelt girls…didn’t work for me. I never heard anyone say, “Hit da