It’s “Black History Month”. I’m one of THOSE people who can’t stand that we try to cram all our children’s knowledge of black history down to one month. So, my children attend a school where “Black History Month” isn’t even acknowledged, because every day is about learning about history, black included. My kids are lucky enough to go to a school where they sit shoulder to shoulder with children of all colors. They learn about the people that put them there: Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Medgar Evers and a lot of other people that I never knew anything about until I was WAY older than they are.
We try to carry forward these conversations into our home. These conversations began with me. I had to educate myself. So, when we road tripped I always look for black landmarks. The kind that taught me the things that I couldn’t learn as a white person growing up in the midwest. This one is, by far, my favorite. I loved it. Rosa Parks bus is actually parked there. The hotel room where Martin Luther King, Jr. slept has been left there, just the way it was, bible on the nightstand and all. Prior to this, I knew the first few lines of his “I Have a Dream” speech, but after that I would just kind of trail off. It didn’t pertain to my life too much. Then I had four little children (and now a few more). Every time I think about courage, and the meaning it took on during the Civil Rights Movement, I get teary eyed. I would never have had this kind of courage.
I bought this poster at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, TN when we visited. It now hangs in our Family Room, along with a mask (my one and only treasure, besides Bubbly) from my trips to Ghana and a basket that a dear friend brought back from her native Uganda. The room is kind of a tribute to the members of our family and their ethnic heritage that isn’t ours. ResponsiBoy was maybe 2 1/2 years old and M-M was 18 months when I toured this museum. I toured it myself while FPD and the kids were elsewhere. I was one of only a handful of white people in the place and I cried the grand majority of the way through, like a total nut. I think people thought I was insane. But, without the people who stood against that wall enduring the hatred that was being spewed at them, I wouldn’t have the kids that I do. There are so many people who still have so far to come to understand that the world isn’t color blind (thank God or it would be kind of boring), but that color doesn’t make or break a family. But, when I tuck my kids in at night and think about the time, not so long ago, that we might not have been able to drink from the same water fountain, I thank God that we’ve come as far as we have.
who thinks that if you want to educate yourself, then this
is a must read. The name of the young white girl who finds herself in the middle of the Civil Rights Movement in Jackson, Mississippi also happens to be the name of our newest daughter. A little message from God to me.