One Man’s Dream, about diversity and lasting impressions

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“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” Martin Luther King, Jr. (Photo from iStock)

Even though it’s been more than a decade since I taught kindergarten, I remember reading aloud about Martin Luther King, Jr., always on the Friday before our long weekend to celebrate his birthday.

And never, not even once, did I make it through his words “I have a dream” without choking up.

I have a lump in my throat now.

Why?

I’m not quite sure, but … 

Maybe because I didn’t understand why Mom was angry when I got my hair tangled in the barrettes of my four-year-old black friend.

It happened because we buried our heads behind the seat of the school bus and talked after the driver told us not to. Mom didn’t reprimand me for talking, but took me straight home to wash my hair.

Maybe because when I transferred from New York schools to ones in the south, there were only white children in my 4th grade class and on our playground. Only white children and teachers and workers in the school, well, except the janitor.

Maybe because when the school district was integrated the year I started middle school, my parents gave me the option to attend a private school.

Dad and Mom grew up in a different environment and believed a different way. However, as a child, I was fortunate to grow up on a military base.

I didn’t know anything different from diversity; consequently, no one seemed that different.

What’s been your experience with diversity?

WRite wHere I’m supposed to be – Fifty years later, I’m appreciative for lasting impressions. And appreciative for one man’s dream.

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