Courage.

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.  
–FullPlateMom, 
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.  

5 Comments Add yours

  1. Thanks for sharing that. You are right. We shouldnt cram it all in in one month. It should be a constant in our schools and homes. I get emotional when I read about or see documentaries and events from the civil rights movement too. Amazing, strong people enduring horrific treatment. You put it so well. Thanks for reminding us. I would love to read this book.

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  2. Wow Becky thanks so much for sharing. Your are blessed that your kids do have that opportunity daily. I am always looking for ways to make these things a daily, weekly or monthly part of our conversations. I always feel it’s never enough though. I enjoyed this post and LOVED the picture. Thanks so much for sharing.

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  3. Shannan says:

    Ever heard of Ruby Bridges? We felt like our daughter American name should be Ruby. And we soon after learned that little Ruby bridges was one of the first children to enter a white school. They had to bring the militia out to protect her from the angry white parents. She prayed and prayed that God would protect her and let her stay in school and He did. Her courage was heroic for one so young and eventually the other parents put their kids back in school. Google it. It’s an amazing story and we are proud our daughter bears the same name.Thanks for sharing this. It sounds like that museum is a must see.

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  4. FullPlateMom says:

    Shannan, we have this book on our first grader’s shelfhttp://www.amazon.com/Story-Ruby-Bridges-Scholastic-Bookshelf/dp/0439598443/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1265805869&sr=8-2He loves how brave Ruby was. There is also a made for TV movie about her that you can now buy on DVD. I’ve read a lot about the Little Rock nine too. One of them was featured in the documentary “Black in America”, he is now the Superintendent of Schools in Little Rock and his wife is a judge. Awesome. I think it’s even cooler that you have a daughter named Ruby, what a beautifully strong name.–FPM

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  5. Kara Busath says:

    Your book recommendation sounds great. I’m going to find it and add it to my list of must-reads.

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