10/07/2012 02:10 pm ET Updated Dec 07, 2012

Audacity: Losing My Fear Of Outside

My rape story makes me feel guilty. I will tell it as simply as I can.

I was an eighth grader, a "senior" at a magnet middle school for "gifted" children. In the way that children who display academic aptitude are plucked from their neighborhood schools, I was separated from mine, and my school-aged neighbors, and bussed less than three miles away from an increasingly rough neighborhood. I was born on Mack and Helen, on Detroit's "Black Bottom," a notorious and working poor neighborhood that had become synonymous with urban blight by the mid 20th century. My mother and stepfather moved a few inches further east, to the lower half of a two family flat on Eastlawn and Charlevoix, where as a kindergartner I was once pummeled by much older boys with snowballs stuffed with rocks.

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