The Lies I Tell
MetadataShow full item record
Type of Work151 pages
DepartmentWelch Center for Graduate and Professional Studies
ProgramMFA in Creative Nonfiction
RightsThis work is restricted for 10 years from the date listed above. No access will be permitted until the embargo has expired. Once the embargo expires the work is available only on Goucher College's campus.
Creative nonfiction -- Theses.
On June 11, 1992, the trajectory of Susette’s four-year-old life took a wide turn when her college-bound brother died suddenly on the basketball court where he played every day of his young life. Whatever dreams their mother had of seeing both her children go to college, get married, and have children were now over. Destroyed by the loss, Susette’s mother fell into deep pits of depression and anxiety caused in part by menopause, which seemed to shut down every emotional control she once had. For the next twenty years, Susette lived in the shadow of her mother’s anger from which she had to overcome the tortures of adolescents and young adulthood—including coming to terms with identity, sexuality, and death—themes that are profoundly steeped in Susette’s racial identity as a fair-skinned African American girl. Across a cultural landscape starting with the Rodney King beating and LA Riots to the Me Too and Black Lives Matter movements, Susette reveals the lessons her mother taught her about what Blackness in America is supposed to be. She journeys through and examines each of these false narratives in her essay collection, The Lies I Tell, and comes closer to the realization that she and her mother used the lies as defenses in order to overcome the traumas they experienced. However, one question remains: What was the cost of all the lies?