I’m linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker, aka: The Gypsy Mama, today for the 5-minute Friday word prompt!
Todays prompt is: Race
The obvious comes to mind- running a race, race around the block, water racing, etc. But the first thing that came to my mind was race of a different color. The world I grew up in was full of signs in the deep south- you know the ones. They are always shown in the documentaries on civil rights. But as a child, though I knew what they meant on the surface, that’s just where they lay- on the surface. They had no meaning for me where my heart lived.
My favorite song to sing when i was little was Jesus Loves the Little Children. To me it meant that all of us children were loved by Him. I grew up as an Air Force Brat, so in my world the race lines were not so evident as they were when I went to Tennessee to visit relatives. Race just wasn’t important on any level to me. We were all His children. How different it became as I grew up with the Civil Rights Movement and the integration of schools in the news daily for a while.
As a child our neighbors in San Antonio were Hispanic- they were my across-the-street friends and we played together all the time. In third grade, I learned what birthday celebrations really were meant to be like when I went to a Hispanic classmate’s party. All day, games, music, grilling and eating. Wow! I wanted to be in her family!
When we lived in Germany, my upstairs neighbors were African American- I ate dinner with them a lot since their daughter was my friend.They were the ones I ran to when the grandmother/mother was in the hospital and the grandfather/father was passed out from drinking.
My best friend in 10th grade-back in San Antoni-was an African American young man in my German Class. His name was Reginald. I will never forget him.
When I was a junior in high school moved to Deep East Texas where race suddenly had meaning. There, the schools were still segregated for the most part. There were only 5 african american young people in the high school I went to- and they were students because their parents were employed there as teachers. The schools were not totally de-segregated until after I graduated. It happened the same year girls were first allowed to wear pants to school- not jeans- just pants- nice pants.
That fall, as I was away in college, my family sent me cuttings of the local newspaper showing pictures of the first day of school at the high school- there were the deacons of our church with shotguns standing outside- lining the sidewalk in front of the school- that’s when I realized that race had become a four-letter word. How sad for all of them. I just didn’t understand what all the comotion was about.
I still sing Jesus loves the Little Children- and I mean every word of it. He loves all of us, as broken and biased we stumble through this world of prejudice, elete-ism, exclusive-ism, and race-ism. Maybe race should be a four-letter word. Then we could ban it.
We are all His children. Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world.