Posted by: Lisa | January 16, 2012

It’s Black & White

I, too, have a dream that we’ll no longer see the color of one’s skin when we define who he or she is. I believe the fulfillment of that dream begins with us — parents.

Yesterday I told Jacob we’d go to the library this morning. When I woke up this morning it dawned on me that the library won’t be open today, on MLK, Jr. Day. I began to explain to Jacob why, in fact, we can’t go to the library today. The library isn’t open today, sweetie, because today is a very special day. It’s a day we all remember a very nice man. His name is Martin, and today is Martin’s birthday. He was a good man, Jacob. You see, Martin helped people learn to be nicer to one another.

Jacob seemed very interested in what I was telling him, and later on, after breakfast, he reminded me, “It’s Martin’s berf-day, Mama.” I figured I might as well capitalize on his curiosity, so I pulled a video of Dr. King up on YouTube (I bet the good ole’ Reverend would’ve loved to have seen that form of media!). Jacob smiled, exclaimed, “It’s Martin!,” & watched intently as we both listened to the booming voice of a man who’s lived on long after his assassination.

Given the Scandinavian heritage of our family members, Jacob honestly hasn’t really been around many African Americans in his life thus far. I somewhat wondered if he’d say something about how Dr. King looked different than we do. After a few moments he began  what I believed would be such a comment. Then, to my amazement and humility, Jacob exclaimed excitedly, “That man…that man, he…he wearing a black jacket just like mine!”

I, too, have a dream that we’ll no longer see the color of one’s skin when we define who he or she is.


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