Mama Don’t Like Ugly By Rekaya Gibson

“Mama Don’t Like Ugly” is a fiction story about Dana, a dark-skinned girl, growing up in a household with a mama who dislikes her because of her skin color. Her mama not only abuses and neglects her, but she constantly compares her to her light-skinned sister. In spite of her situation, she still loves her mama unconditionally. 
“Mm… mm…mm.”
I could not believe Mama was humming. She seemed to be
in a good mood all of sudden, considering that she just buried her
favorite sister. That was something I had never seen since I arrived
on this earth almost eight weeks ago. Perhaps bath time made her
as happy as me. All I had to do was sit in my baby tub and
someone sponged water all over my legs, belly, and arms.
“Mm…mm…mm, here you go, baby.” She sat me in the
lukewarm water.
Awww! I feel good already.
Splash! Kick! Splatter!
Wait a minute…it…it is getting hotter.
“Mm…mm…mm.” Mama sang louder and the water kept
getting hotter. Her eyes looked glassy as she stared in the mirror.
“Www…um…waaa! Waaa!” Please, Mama, stop! Stop! I
learned that crying meant there was a problem. Why wouldn’t she
I kicked my legs fast, hoping to knock the water off. Better
yet, I wished it would hit her face, and then perhaps she would
come to her senses. I slid my back downward, pushing water
forward and onto the floor. That did not help, so I let out a piercing
sound, thinking it would annoy her enough to stop. She picked me
up and wraps me in a towel. I smelled a mixture of vanilla lotion
and sour beer. I wiggled my head to get the stink out my nose. She
pressed my head in the middle of her chest again and patted my
back. It stung because of the moisture and the heat from the water.
I continued to whimper.
Thump! Thump! Thump! Her hits became more intense. I
knew that I needed to calm down.
Thump! I felt the wind escape of me with that one. Mama
thought I stopped weeping, so she stopped.
Slurp! The slimy green stuff glided back into my nose and I
regained my breath. No other noise came out. I breathed deeply
until my heart resumed a normal beat.
What has gotten into mama? What did I do to deserve this?

Rekaya Gibson is an author of three fiction titles: “The Food Temptress” and the sequel, “The Food Enchantress.” The latest is “Mama Don’t Like Ugly” by NCM Publishing Company.  She started her freelance writing career in 2005. Some of her magazine articles have appeared in Cabo Living Magazine, Lake of the Ozarks Second Home Living Magazine, and Relocating in Saint Louis Magazine. In her spare time, she is a freelance grant writer and consultant. When she not writing, she is dancing, eating, and/or promoting her books.  She has lived in more than five U.S. cities and she is not in the military. Currently, she resides in Hampton, Virginia.

Get to Know Rekaya:

1) Where did you get the inspiration to write Mama Don’t Like Ugly?
I am fascinated that people’s behaviors and/or perceptions about skin color gets passed down from generation to generation – consciously and subconsciously. It is still prevalent in today’s society even though people refuse to believe it. I hope to inspire discussions about this topic. 
2) Who is your favorite character in the novel?
My favorite character is Dana. I want readers to connect with her because she is intelligent and resilient. In spite of her situation, she still loves her mama unconditionally.  Most importantly, her beauty radiates from the inside and she does not let her imperfections dictate her destiny. 
3) What separates Mama Don’t Like Ugly from your other titles?
It has a good balance of drama, humor and suspense. Also, it will resuscitate nonfiction discussions about beauty and skin color. I am hoping folks will stop being in denial about their prejudices. 
4) What is the biggest challenge you face with your writing career?
My biggest challenge is figuring out the ingredients that will catapult my writing career into a full-time venture. I am still in search of balance between marketing versus being a spammer, a stalker, or a social networking junkie. The good news is I am getting closer to my goal each day. 
5) What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
I would suggest that they free write and write often. They should keep improving their craft and learn how the publishing industry works. Most importantly, authors should not approach publishers without defining and knowing their target audience. In addition, I encourage aspiring authors to have a written marketing plan and update it regularly. 
6) You have written several titles, how would you describe your writing style?
I write – on the computer – when I have something to say. Then, I let it all out until I am done. This can mean five minutes or several hours. I am not good at writing during a slotted time; it is the rebel in me. However, sometimes I have to write on paper first to get the juices flowing. 
7) What’s next for you?
Currently, I am working on a cookbook titled, “Cooking Matters”. It features dishes from the south as well as the east coast. In the last chapter, I will feature recipes from book clubs, so I will be seeking submissions soon.
In addition, I am slowly writing a fiction novel that will star a character from “Mama Don’t Like Ugly.” It will challenge my creativity as well as surprise some folks. In addition, it will allow me to introduce Special Agent Valencia Carmichael for a future book.

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