How Ebola Became the Oldest Story About Africa
It was December 2001. Senior year at Spring High School—the nucleus of a small town called Spring, Texas, two dozen miles north of Houston. Sixteen years old and like other restless suburbanites, I was over-committed to extracurricular activities, spent an unreasonable amount of time with my friends, and my only real concern was how far I could stretch the $1/gallon gas on my middle-grade car.
On my way to work a part-time sales job at the local Sears, it came on. A smooth sample of Tom Brock’s “There’s Nothing In This World That Can Stop Me From Loving You” over a honeyed beat—the cadence of a classic. It was Jay Z’s “Girls, Girls, Girls” and within the first 30 seconds, I knew I’d hear it at every party for the rest of the school year.
Too young and impressionable then to be convicted by the song’s early misogyny, it wasn’t until halfway through listening that the lyrics arrested me:
I got this African chick with Eddie Murphy on her skull
She like, “Jigga Man, why you treat me like animal?”
I’m like excuse me Ms. Fufu, but when I met your ass
you was dead broke and naked, and now you want half