Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Dreams do come true...
by Betsy Brannon Green
In the 1960's Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke these words "I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers."
Almost 50 years later I live in an Alabama where little girls and boys of all skin tones do live and play and go to church and school together as brothers and sisters. Things may not be perfect yet, but we shouldn't take the progress we've made for granted.
I work at an elementary school that is racially diverse. Recently one of the teachers read a book about Rosa Parks to her third graders. She had to stop frequently to discuss the issues raised in the book because these children have no concept of segregation. They were all appalled and confused. So finally the teacher said, "Back in those days the white and the black people did everything separately. They went to different schools and different churches and used different entrances and different water fountains. In fact, black and white children couldn't even play together. So (she pointed out two boys in the class) you two couldn't have been friends back then." The little African American boy looked down at his arm and said, "I'm black? I thought I was brown." He had made it 8 years without falling prey to racial stigma.
And it was in that moment that I knew. Alabama has come a long way. We still have some work to do - but I think Dr. King would be proud of us.