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My son came home from school on Friday and he says to me,
“Mommy there was a man called Martin Luther King Jr. Do you know of him? Well today in school we watched a movie about his life. When he was younger black kids and white kids had to use different water fountains and bathrooms. He really wanted to change the way people acted. They shot and killed him mommy, but if it wasn’t for him things would probably be the same.”
I asked him if the movie mad him sad because in his retelling he was rather somber. He said, “No” and stared off in the distance. I on the other hand was sad for a few reasons. My son is growing up in this world, full of sins of all kinds, racism included. I wasn’t ready for him to know how badly this world had treated blacks and how they still do sometimes. I wasn’t ready for him to start viewing the world in black and white. I loved the view he had in color. I was also disappointed that he had to get this experience at school and not at home. I felt that this information should have come from me. To be honest I didn’t think that this subject, racism, would have been presented to first graders. I certainly don’t remember this sort of lesson when I was in 1st grade but I understand a lot has changed, which is good.
I reside in a predominately white town. My son is the only black male in his class of 24 students. Now that he is more aware of the history of African Americans and Americans, the lessons will begin. It is our job as parents to teach our children where they come from, as harsh as thay may be at times.
Don’t let the hurt of yesterday erase the rich journey that lead to better tomorrows. #takemyfoolishadvice