Sister Sandra

May 20, 2014 | Sandra Oyeneyin and Leory Lebron Taylor

In this second duet that they performed together in AN INDETERMINATE LIFE, Leroy played Sandra’s little brother.  Sandra created the piece during her time working with PPTG.  To learn more, see the chapter from Sandra’s Honor’s Theses elsewhere on this site.

Sister Sandra: What I love most about my little brother is his perception of the world around him. At twelve years old, he no longer considers himself a child. Preteen right? He’d frown when I’d hug him, scrunch his face when I’d comment how adorable he is, and brush my hand away as I’d pinch his cheeks just to be obnoxious. My little Samuel is growing up. I’m constantly reminded of that.

Brother: Sister Sandra, when the time comes and if you’re not too old and wrinkly, will you go to prom with me?

Brother: Sister Sandra this was the BORINGEST day of my life! I’ve never spent a whole day doing nothing. And what’s worse is I had to exercise!

Brother: Sister Sandra, when you start earning real money, can I get 10% of your income?

Brother: Ugh! Sister Sandra you’re always tired! You said you would play LEGO Marvel with me today.


Brother: Sister Sandra, I’m sad.

Sister Sandra: Why are you sad?

Brother: Someone hurt me in school today.

Sister Sandra: What happened? Are you okay?

Brother: Never mind. Don’t worry about it.

Sister Sandra: Sammy, did you tell mom and dad?

Brother: No.

Sister Sandra: Did you at least tell your teacher?

Brother: No.

Sister Sandra: Samuel, you need to speak up about this.

Brother: I know.

Sister Sandra: Then why don’t you?

Brother:  ‘Cause I see it happen all the time. No one ever does anything about it.

Sister Sandra: At the time, I wasn’t sure what he meant. I realize now that this was more than just him getting hurt. He doesn’t want to talk about it because he doesn’t see the point. He sees stories of boys just like him. On television. In newspapers. Young people wearing baggy pants and doo rags portrayed as vicious criminals rather than the reality. Immediately judged and misunderstood. And shielded behind our self-righteousness and skewed assumptions, we convince ourselves that turning a blind eye is okay. They deserved what was coming to them. I look at my brother and think what kind of future will he lead being constantly reminded that he is perceived as a potential threat in this country?

Sister Sandra: You can’t let people treat you like that.

Brother: I know.