When look back at myself at age 6, I see a girl that was different than the rest of her classmates. At the time there were very few people of color in the suburb in which I grew up. In fact we were the ONLY black family that lived on the street for a very long time.
Each morning our White Neighbors would throw glass bottles into our driveway. And each morning my father would patiently sweep it up. Many times he would have to rebuild our mailbox because neighbors would set it on fire.
In fact, one of the main culprit of harassment was the neighbor that lived across the street who happened to be a popular city police officer. So calling the police did no good.
MY PARENTS RAISED ME TO HOPE AND DREAM.
They could have given up, been so frightened but instead they STAYED. They stayed and raised two strong daughters who now live out their own hopes and dreams.
You see...in this picture while I knew I was different, I had no idea what adult situations were happening. I had no idea that the reason my mother only allowed us to play in the backyard NEVER the front was for safety. That the reason I wasn’t allowed to go to friends homes or sleep overs was because they couldn’t trust others to keep their babies safe. Regardless of what was going on in their world they taught me to LOVE everyone. It would have been really easy for them to teach me to mistrust. But they knew that a time would come where the world would change. Where we could live together in harmony. Where every child could live out their dream and potential. A world where playing small wasn’t an option.