The Truth Board

A Blog by the Editors of
The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

My Photo
Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Not A Piece of Cake

Take a look at the women to the left…what words come to mind when you see this image? Does strong, sophisticated, bold, professional, and beautiful come to mind? This is a woman who succeeded in turning her life around; a complete 360, to the point where she now practices law and delivers motivational speeches about her shocking past. Meet Ms.Cupcake Brown.

Imagine this: You’re 11 years old. Your mother dies from a horrific seizure, leaving you with a man you have always known to be your father. Your biological father shows up for the first time in your life only to reap the monetary benefits of the situation. The snake of a man gets full custody, because they don’t give a damn if he was ever around; DNA always prevails. The dead-beat sperm donor snatches you from a happy home and dumps you into foster care where you are beaten by your foster mother and raped by her nephew. All this is happening a couple weeks after your mother’s death. You run away. You walk the streets. You sell your body for a couple of 20’s. Welcome to the early life of Ms. Cupcake Brown.

In her new memoir, “Piece of Cake, “ Brown tells the story of how she hitchhiked up and down the coast of California, joined a gang at 14, was shot at gunpoint at 15, and at 17, finally found her way back to her stepfather. This woman has gone to hell and back, but she did not let those trials and tribulations be the death of her. She has become well known on the talk-show circuit; appearing on The Today’s Show, Oprah Winfrey, and just yesterday I saw her on the Tyra Banks Show. Such a devastating story she told; a baby being thrown into the sex industry, and men who are aware of her age still getting aroused. I was sickened when Brown shared to the audience that when she first ran away, a prostitute found her and told her “No one gives a fuck about you, so you better charge them for what they’re taking from you.” She then walked Brown to her corner, and a man pulled up and they negotiated how much he was going to have to pay for Cupcake, telling him she was 10 when she was really 11, and upping the price as if the young ones are the “filet mignon” of the streets.

But through all this, Brown did turn her life around. After she got off the streets, she spent the next 11 ½ years in college and then law school, graduating in the top 10% of her class. She then took the Bar and passed the first time—which only 50% are able to do. She is now a fifth year associate at one of the nation’s top law firms.

“You can only play the cards you’ve been dealt.” So many would quit if they were dealt Brown’s hand. So many would quit this game of life if they were plucked from their storybook lives and thrown into hers. But look what she did; she turned that bad hand into a Royal Flush. If this isn’t an inspirational story, then I don’t know what is.

Jennifer Vassel

If you would like to read an excerpt from Brown’s Memoir, “A Piece of Cake,” Click Here

Photo Credit: New York Times


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home