Monday, November 19, 2007

What's Going On

I haven't really been posting, primarily out of guilt. I started researching the place that Booker lived in: Greenwood and the time during which he lived: civil rights movement and before. The things that I have learned blow my mind away. So many people think that the vile hatred of blacks ended with slavery and that the civil rights movement was just a final correction. Blacks were murdered in the South during Booker's lifetime with the same abandon that was present during slave times. It saddens and sickens me. I actually think that I took a step back for a few weeks just to wrap my mind around it. I don't want to become someone who thinks that everyone I intereact with has a problem with me because of my skin, but reading some of this stuff can make a mind go there.

Back to the blog. I have been so focused on the South that I felt as if I was neglecting Booker. I don't feel that way anymore. What I am learning is helping to create a context for his life and his choices. He is still the portrait, I am just beginning to understand the frame.

I have also been thinking alot about race in my own life, something that I have spent the better part of 33 years trying not to do. I don't know why I try to avoid what is so prevalent in my own head, but I do. This journey is a hard one, a very hard one for me to take. There are hurts and humiliations and fears and desires that have the mark of race on them. What I have been learning has made it hard for me to just turn away.

Something else is different as well. I'm a mom of two beautiful, handsome, young black boys. I want the best world for them. It makes me ache to think of the lessons that they will have to learn about race. I don't even want to begin to think about how I will explain it to them. I want to make sure that I have convictions and ideas about race that are not centered around avoiding it. The other day my husband said something in front of my son about a "black man" and I shushed him. I didn't want him to identify someone by color. But in the big scheme of things, did my son notice my husband's comment before or after my reaction?


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