Friday, April 04, 2008

In the Eyes of a Child

I grew up here in the south. I was a little girl when segregation was well in place but being challenged strongly, and rightly so. I can remember going to the Doctor's office and there being two waiting rooms, one for white people and one for "colored" people. There were two entrances from the outside but only a single wall that separated the two rooms on the inside that both opened up to the reception area. You could hear the people on the other side of the wall but you couldn't see them.

One of my earliest memories is on a visit to the Dr.'s office I was curious and peeked around the wall at the very same time another little girl on the other side was peeking around too. We smiled at each other. And right there in the middle, while her Mama sat reading a magazine on the colored side and my mother did the same on the white side, she and I sat down in the floor and giggled and whispered like little girls will do.

While the country was in turmoil, while grown men and women were trying to figure out how to overcome racial problems, two little girls somewhere in Georgia in 1962 didn't seem to have a problem at all that our skin colors were different.

40 years ago today Martin Luther King died for this cause. What a shame he had to. How sad for his wife and children. But how awesome was he to fight for what he believed in, for what was right, for generations to come. Because of his leadership in civil rights, there is no wall separating little girls in a Dr.'s office today.

I often wonder if that little girl remembers that day when we played together in a segregated Dr.'s office. In all our innocence, she and I understood things that adults refused to see. We are all the same, we are people and what in the world does skin color have to do with anything?

6 comments:

amy said...

That is such a cool story. It reminds me of how much parents and environment shape a child. No matter what else, your mama taught you tolerance.

Robbin with 2 B's! said...

Thanks Amy,
It was a true gift to be taught not to be prejudiced down here, and it took courage during that particular time in history. For that I am grateful to her and my father.

Chellie said...

I love the innocence of children. When I was in 1st grade, my very first "boyfriend" was Jewish. It made absolutely no difference to the two of us! ;)

Aisling said...

Robbin,

What a beautiful story.

I can remember being stunned by adults making comments that were racist when I was a child. It made no sense to me. Nature is full of color and diversity... Why shouldn't people be the same?

Robbin with 2 B's! said...

Chellie, it is funny how we lose that innocence, and a real shame in a lot of ways.

Robbin with 2 B's! said...

Hi Aisling, it really is so simple to a child and I'm not sure what happens! I hope you have a good weekend.