As some of know I grew up and still live in Alabama. The following is a true short story.
I don’t know what year it was but I can tell you that I was in elementary school. The school was called White House Fork elementary. I had been attending it for at least two years as most of the children in my neighborhood had. Anyways on one particular day my mom did not want us to go to school. It wasn’t a school holiday or anything,but she debated whether or not to send me and my other siblings to school. I didn’t know what the big deal was. I just knew I wanted to go to school because I wanted to have perfect attendance. That morning I remember watching my mom peering out the window trying to see if other children where getting on the school bus. I mean we were dressed and ready but she still wasn’t sure she wanted us to go. Finally she saw the kids down the street get on the bus,so she sent us too. We ended up being the only black kids that went to school that day.
Now remember this is Alabama,I probably forgot to tell you it was the early 1980s. Okay, so when we get to school it is very easy to see we are the only blacks. And I don’t know if I ever mentioned it to my mom but I remember some of my class mates,some of the same ones that I had played with for at least two years, remind me that I was at White House Fork and not Black House Fork. And that I need to go back to Africa. At the time I knew they were being mean, I didn’t know why. I mean I had never even been to Africa so how could I go back. It made no sense. Other than my” friends” name calling me, that day was like any other school day. When we got home that day, my mom ask did anybody else ride the bus. We told her ,No,. I ask her why didn’t she want us to go to school. She told us it was Martin Luther King’s birthday. I didn’t know what that meant, but it seem like a big deal to her.
Back then Dr. King’s birthday was not a holiday. I am glad it is now. But sometimes I look back on that school day and find it strange and a little disheartening that my “friends” had said such harsh cruel words to me one day and pretend like everything was fine the next day.
My question to you is: Has any thing like that ever happened to you?
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