Maddie Comes With a Person

When my child’s aide walks into the classroom without Maddie several of her classmates say, “Where’s Maddie? Is anything wrong with Maddie?” and I don’t necessarily like that. While I appreciate that they care about my daughter, I also know that if they’re linking the two of them so completely they don’t see Maddie as … Continue reading Maddie Comes With a Person

Front of the Bus

Our latest issue is also one of the first we had to face once we began Madeline’s inclusion track at our local school: the dreaded school bus. Ever since Alexa began going to school she got to ride the bus, and Madeline would stand on the porch and wave to her big sister. She would … Continue reading Front of the Bus

Back to School

I love school. If I could have stayed in school forever (without racking up a helluva lot of fees) I would have in a heartbeat. What’s not to love? Going to class in whatever you happen to be wearing, and no one judges. Doing research on whatever the topic happens to be and learning so … Continue reading Back to School

Divide and Conquer

Tonight was officially “Parents Night” at our local elementary school, and for the first time we had two classrooms to visit at the same time, so we decided to divide and conquer, with one of us heading to third grade and the other off to kindergarten. My wife gave Alexa the choice of who she … Continue reading Divide and Conquer

The Race Conversation

raceconversation“Until justice is blind to color, until education is unaware of race, until opportunity is unconcerned with the color of men’s skins, emancipation will be a proclamation but not a fact.” ~Lyndon B. Johnson

I never really cared about race, but race was always concerned with me. Maybe because I was born black, or perhaps because I was born in this country, or probably both. Definitely both. There’s just something to be said about being that “other” that is contrasted with the majority, that absence of color when compared with the presence of all color. I mean, that’s what white is, right? The presence of all color. So why isn’t it all-inclusive? And why should any of it matter anyway?

The United States has been characterized as this great big “melting pot,” where people from all backgrounds and ethnicities are welcome and appreciated, as this giant quilt that stitches people together and creates something new and incredible from each pattern. Yet more often than not it is instead a middle school lunchroom with its cliques and ostracizing behavior. Now, while race isn’t the only dividing line, it is still one of the thickest. And I don’t think I’ll ever understand why.

But that’s a conversation for another time.

What’s important to me at this exact moment is my children having to deal with these issues without really understanding them. Continue reading “The Race Conversation”