Once upon a time, the old superstition "Step on a crack, break your mother's back" turned many of my walks down city streets into a game. What else could cracks have referred to but the lines and crevices in the pavement? Of course, it did not much matter, since little depended on it. I knew that my mama's well-being did not rise or fall with my physical agility. It would have been crazy to think otherwise. Yet, when I remembered and the spirit moved me, I did try to avoid the cracks on the assumption that it couldn't hurt to show a little extra concern and respect for mom now and then. There were, of course, children who deliberately and defiantly walked on cracks as a way of defying fate.
"Step on a Crack, Break Your Mother's Back": Poor Moms, Myths of Authority, and Drug-Related Evictions from Public Housing,
Yale J.L. & Feminism
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/yjlf/vol14/iss2/9