Five years ago, I was mugged and beaten in Brooklyn after turning down a quiet street and passing a young couple idling in front of me on the sidewalk. I felt a sudden blow to the back of my head and found myself sprawled on the warm cement, bits of gravel pressing hard into my skin, thinking about something a man told me years earlier when I’d refused his ride home: You are too light-skinned to walk home alone at night in this neighborhood.
I clutched my purse to my chest. In it I had a key to an apartment that wasn’t mine, a debit card, a cell phone, a charger, three dollars. Just let go of your purse, the assumed leader implored, the toe of her boot connecting expertly with my eye socket. Read More