It was a poignant afternoon. Our eldest daughter came home from kindergarten with a booklet on Dr. Martin Luther King and she told us all she’d learned. About the backs of buses and schools and water fountains. About Dr. King’s role in changing the way people thought and lived. Her father explained how significant this was for our family, that if these changes hadn’t come, we could never have been together.
There was something so beautiful in the confused look on our daughters faces when Chris said that. They just didn’t get it, it didn’t make any sense to them. Our girls are born in the era of the Obamas. When they see him they shout – “He’s butterscotch, just like us!” and to them its perfectly normal that they’d see themselves in the White House. When they see Michelle Obama, they say “Mom, she’s just like you!” and its no big deal to them that a woman of color, with ebony hue, would grace the global stage.
They don’t know it hasn’t always been this way. They don’t know they names I was called, even at their age or those that my bi-racial friends were called, or that in other times and places that my white friends were called. They don’t know the story of their dad and me. They don’t know the names we were called , the things that were said, from sheer hatred, through to the sheer ignorance. And it saddens me that one day they’ll come to me with angry tear stained faces , and I’ll know that from personal experience, they’ll know.
But not today. Today we went to the beach and walked along carefree and happy in a family where love knows all colors and celebrates them, and I willed the sun not to set on their innocence for another day.
So its with renewed gratitude I reflect upon the lives of those who lived, fought, died, so our families could peacefully walk hand in hand. And I’m thinking and praying of how the walls of separation can continue to come down, especially in the church – the most segregated place in this wonderful country that’s now our home. Tragic isn’t it? It saddens and frustrates me. We’ve got to keep growing in this. Somehow we’ve got to embrace what the reconciliation offered on the cross, means for true healing and harmony across different races . As salt and light… surely we’re to be the example, the model for what this could be? I wonder…
Anyway, in the meantime we have our lives now. So I’m considering how our family can best celebrate Martin Luther King Day. Because this day is truly ours; it celebrates the colors of us.