On a rainy evening, November 27, 2016, Saphronia and her nephew - now an adopted son - sit by the fireside, as they sink deep into a pool of conversation. Saphronia has played a vital role in Sammy’s life, since the passing of his mother, Simone, to breast cancer, 15 years ago, at 26 years of age. Today, his 19th birthday, Sammy’s eyes are set on better discovering the vast volume of time and space ahead of him. Alongside the surrogate-mother and son relationship that has developed over the years, Sammy has also come to see Saphronia as the teacher he never had. Though a 20-year veteran of the academy, she is currently devoted to the re-education of younger Black students - including her nephew - through independent pedagogical facilities. As they reflect inside this West Virginian duplex, emotion shortly becomes the potter that molds and shapes their thoughts:
Sammy: … But… But… He said he was bringing change! His exact words were: “Change is on the way.” He tricked us! He tricked us! I can’t believe it: Eight years flushed down the latrine of history - just like that!
Saphronia: What do you mean he tricked us?
Sammy: I mean - he lied! He did everything he said he wouldn’t do - went against his word!
Saphronia: What specifically did he promise to do, which he failed to accomplish?
Sammy: Health care, the Iraq & Afghanistan wars, poverty, social security - everything!
Saphronia: I’m not sure you were actually listening to his words, when he spoke.
Sammy: I was. I read his speeches, and watched them, too. I loved watching them. He had an uncanny ability to communicate directly with whatever audience he was speaking to.
Saphronia: And you heard him promise single-payer healthcare; an end of the Iraq & Afghanistan wars, with a full withdrawal of troops; an agenda against poverty; and a de-privatization of social security?
Sammy: It was implied! He alluded to it… I mean, he didn’t have to mention those programs, by name.
Sammy: Because he was trying to get elected.
Saphronia: And what happened the second time around - with his soaring popularity and a Republican ticket like Sarah Palin/Alan Keyes?
Sammy: I guess the people failed.
Saphronia: Which people?
Sammy: The leaders.