March is way too white


Are we back to reading books about the weather, zoo animals, and Miss Know-it-all?

Have we forgotten about  Friends for Freedom?

Great Black Heroes: Women Scientists?

Ruby Bridges?

If A Bus Can Talk?

Harriet Tubman?

Bessie Coleman?


Dr. King?  Dr. King!


Is it already March?

March is way too white.


My chin and neck are wet on account of their hair still being damp from the shower.  It smells like a citrus grove; the shampoo not completely rinsed out since I am always in a rush to get the kids to bed.  Pajamas are on, teeth are brushed, and I am moments away from being off the clock.  Both kids nestled in my arms, we begin to read the book.

I never rush this part.

        “Ron’s Big Mission” By: Rose Blue & Corinne Naden
It’s an amazing story of Astronaut Ron McNair and his mission to check-out a book from his library.  Not so easy to do in 1959 South Carolina where only white people can have library cards.
Ron stands on top of the librarians desk, refusing to move, even after the police have arrived to pull him down.
                   He still refuses to move.
                   Nine year-old Ron McNair, refused to move!
I had to stop, point at the picture, take a few deep breaths.  But nothing worked.  I was an emotional mess with tears sliding down my cheek.  I stopped reading.
My daughter looked up at me, trying to figure out what was wrong.
                                                  “Are you sad?” she asked.
Now both kids are staring up at me wondering if I am sad.
I wanted to tell them the truth; I want to tell my five and three year-old that I am sad.
I’m sad because this nine-year old boy was not allowed to check-out books because of the color of his skin.  I’m sad because that kind of hate actually existed in our world, and I’m afraid it still does.
                                                                                                                                            I’m afraid it still does.
I look at my blue-eyed, blonde hair, pale skinned children and tell them truth.
        “I am not sad.  I have tears of joy because I am so proud of Ron.”
        “But you’re not allowed to stand on tables!”  my son replies.
       “Good Point.” I say.
    So we talked.  I asked him how he would feel, standing on top of a table in a library where he was not allowed to check out books.   How does it feel?  Are you nervous?  Angry?  Scared?  Sad?
We talked about fairness, and when to stand up for what is right.
I did a lot of listening, which can be hard for me.
Having now talked through bedtime, I had to get back to the book.
   *Spoiler Alert*
              Ron is given is very own library card and completes his first courageous mission.  We find out that it is the first of many, as he goes on to become an Astronaut and an inspiration for all.
We put the book down and I go put my daughter to bed.  She is asleep before I close the door.  My son is laying on his bed looking at the book.  I see the wheels turning, his brain trying to comprehend all that we have been talking about.  I put the book away, tuck him into bed, and kiss his cheek.  Enough talking.  So much to look forward to, enough talking for now.
Now we are into March.  The books that he brings home are about spring flowers, hibernating bears, and St. Patrick’s day parades.  Have we stopped learning about our past?  Have we now moved on because it is no longer February, Black History Month?
Truthfully, the conversations and late night talks during story time are a lot easier.  We laugh and smile at silly puppies and funny birds, but I still make a point to bring up some of the great black leaders that we read about.  These are our fellow human beings, our friends, our classmates, and our neighbors.  Learning about this part of history is not easy, but it is necessary; their history, is our history.  I have added more books to our home collection to keep this conversation going.  Those books deserve a place on our shelf next to Goodnight Moon and A Light In The Attic.
Most importantly, they deserve to be discussed more than just 1/12th of the year.
Is it already March?
March is way too white.

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