I came down for breakfast this morning and found my 7-year old daughter reading “Ruby Bridges” a story about the first black child to integrate a white southern elementary school in 1960. I interrupted her and asked, “where did you get that book?” She politely held up a finger asking me to wait and finished reading the book until the end. When she was finished she told me she got the book at her school. It was another teaching moment in our house. I believe if we want to see a significant change in how the black and white community get along; it starts with the education of our children.
It reminds me of a passage I read in a leadership book. Two vacationers were walking along a picturesque village when they saw an old man sitting under a tree. They asked the man if there were any great men born here, and the old man replied, "no just babies.” You see for me it is what happens from the time a baby is born until the time they can start to make sensible decisions on their own that is the most important; if we want to see impactful change in how we treat each other.
My children have been fortunate in the fact that I have many friends that don’t look like us and a few of them my children grew up loving from the time they could walk. However, I still sat down with my daughter and asked her what thoughts she had about the book. She said, “Daddy I don’t think it was fair that they didn’t want to let the black girl go to the white persons school.” “Black is just color and what difference does that make?” She went on to say, “it’s like vanilla and chocolate; they look different but they both taste good.”
We can learn a lot from our children if we just let them come to some of their own decisions about who is good and who is bad. We don’t need our children to have our Grandparents belief system about everything. As long as we teach them to love with a Jesus heart they will do just fine.
Just a disclaimer; we make lots of mistakes in this house, so we are not throwing stones, just offering ideas. Also, you will notice I used the work black and not African American. If my African American friends heard me use that term – they would think I had something to hide. I don’t and they all know how much love my family has for them!
Believe it – Wear it – Share it