Posts Tagged ‘skin color’


Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

At seven years old, Olivia is beginning to understand the meaning of the civil rights movement in this country and the importance of the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. During a recent trip to the library, she selected a book on Rosa Parks to learn more.

“If I had been born in the olden days,” she said, “I would be a slave.”

“Why is that?” I asked.

“Because my skin is brown.”

Our conversation presented an excellent opportunity to discuss the history of slavery in this country and around the world. We agreed how ridiculous it is to enslave someone simply because they have more pigment in their skin.

I didn’t think any more about the conversation and Olivia didn’t bring it up. I assumed she had forgotten it, too. Then this past Monday, when I met my daughter after school, I was alarmed to see her walk out of her classroom bent over and shaking. I took both her hands; they were freezing cold. (more…)