Wow, I'm HORRIBLE at updating! :) I'll try to be better. I watched the inauguration yesterday, and I could not have been happier. It was truly a fabulous day! I wish I could have been there.
I knew I could record it and watch it later, or watch the replays, but I really wanted to watch it live. So at work I watched it streaming on my laptop. There's a part of me that thinks yea, big deal, an African-American in office. So? Because race has so little impact on MY valuing of people. But then I take a moment and really think. Really, truly think about what this means...and it makes me cry every time. I am so happy, and so proud and so...overwhelmed when I think about what this means. And the inauguration happening the day after MLK day....could not be more perfect.
Last week I had a third grade class visit the library, and the teacher had asked me to read a picture book about MLK day. I chose one of my absolute favourites: Martin's Big Words written by Doreen Rappaport and illustrated by Brian Collier. If you have not read it, you should. It is a wonderful book, and really reaches kids. I have a hard time reading it without tearing up. It's just wonderful. The kids I read to could not believe that MLK died, that he was murdered. This little girl asked me "Why would someone kill him? He was just trying to help people!" I could see that her teacher was as nonplussed at me. What can I answer to that? I think I just shook my head and shrugged my shoulders.
The other local third grade class came on Tuesday, and that teacher too wanted me to read a book about MLK. So, same book, same reaction from the kids, plus a question from one little boy who asked "Who made the laws in the first place that said black and white people couldn't be together". I LOVED that for these kids the idea of race being the reason you're not allowed to do something, that the color of your skin would make something you did illegal...they just cannot understand that.
I did try to make sure I said something along the lines that there still are people who think that way. They just could not understand that. Yet, they also DID understand the momentousness of Obama's presidency. One kid said that without MLK, Obama would probably not be our president. I was amazed by those kids. Gives me hope.