My ApologizesTo Black History Month

9 Mar

The 6 year old, a very cute white 6 year old mind you, brings home her school work.

All smiles.

Proud Daddy leafs through it…some math…did pretty good…come on….6-2….easy! You shouldn’t have missed this! Your writing is getting better…got to work on those e’s…still making them backwards honey…this isn’t Ancient  Greece…hey, what’s this?

Nice pink cover to celebrate Black History Month. Plus we added a flower and a butterfly...good touch.

Nice pink cover to celebrate Black History Month. Plus we added a flower and a butterfly…good touch.

I realize it’s March, but we are just getting ths home.

Side Note: In the era that my Mother grew up in, she caught the tail end of segregation. She was a history teacher and I remember one of the stories she would tell her class was about the day she used the black drinking foutain because the line was shorter and it shocked all the park goers that day. My Mom always mentioned it was just one water pipe that came from the ground and split into two, so it made no sense to wait forever for the white side when the black side was the same exact water. But to everyone else at that time, it was a big no no.

Cut to my generation: It was drilled into our heads that all men are created equal. Funny thing was, I never experienced any segregation so as a child I’m thinking: “Ok, gotcha! So what if someone has different colored skin. I”ll be Han Solo and you be Lando Calrissian and let’s save the galaxy!” Segregation was still going on, just not as blatant, in your face, as my Mom experienced. We all drank from the same water fountain, but pay, jobs, and schooling were the hidden elephants in the room.

For my children: There is still the KKK, and there is still racism. But for the most part, I believe that is still old school thinking past from generations of families that just don’t know any better. My kids never say, “This is my black friend John.” It’s just, “This is my friend, John.”

I get that I’m a white guy saying this, and I have no experience being black. I can’t talk about childbirth or driving a race car as first hand experiences either, only as observations.

So with all of that randomly being said, when I looked at my youngest daughter’s Black History coloring sheets and saw this:

Joseph Winters here inented the fire escape ladder apparently. And was the whitest black man, next to Michael Jackson that I have ever seen.

Joseph Winters here invented the fire escape ladder apparently. And thanks to my child’s interpretation, Joseph was the whitest black man, next to Michael Jackson that I have ever seen.

Sarah Breedlove Walker, whom I don't think is a natural blond, invented the straightening comb.

Sarah Breedlove Walker, whom I don’t think is a natural blond, invented the straightening comb.

George Washington Carver, who kind of looks like Sam the Butcher from Brady Bunch, invented the peanut or something like that.

George Washington Carver, who kind of looks like Sam the Butcher from Brady Bunch, invented the peanut or something like that.

I thought they got rid of the Flesh colored crayon….

Me: Why did you color them white?

The Child: I didn’t know they were supposed to be black

Me: But it says Black History on the cover.

The Child: I didn’t know that

Me: So why did you color this guy brown?

The hair matches the suit!

The hair matches the suit!

The Child: Because he invented a brown machine that makes shoes.

Me: Makes perfect sense.

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31 Responses to “My ApologizesTo Black History Month”

  1. Sandee March 9, 2013 at 11:39 AM #

    This is adorable Chris!

  2. aliceatwonderland March 9, 2013 at 12:07 PM #

    That’s hilarious. I know I’ve heard many black people say “You’re putting my history into one month? What?” So while they’re trying to do good, it’s just falling flat. And thank goodness kids today don’t always understand racism. Except that my children go to school with kids who listen to their parents complain about that black Muslim president non-stop . . . sigh.

    • Christopher De Voss March 9, 2013 at 12:16 PM #

      The President always gets a bad rap no matter what. It’s nice that she doesn’t know any better. 🙂

  3. MissFourEyes March 9, 2013 at 1:41 PM #

    Your kid is brilliant! But you already knew that

  4. Maddie Cochere March 9, 2013 at 5:00 PM #

    Sandee had my exact thought – adorable! Very funny, Chris. 🙂

  5. Monk Monkey March 9, 2013 at 7:56 PM #

    Oh my gosh this is great. Did the teacher feel too awkward to tell all the white kids ‘colour them black?’

  6. David Stewart March 9, 2013 at 10:28 PM #

    That’s cute. I think the teachers are dropping the ball though if the kids don’t know the people they are learning about are supposed to be black.

  7. Pixie Girl March 10, 2013 at 12:22 PM #

    Ha. Awesome. You are right, it’s still there (and what do I know being white…) but the fact it’s no longer tolerated makes me hope my kids won’t understand it either.

  8. pelicanfreak March 10, 2013 at 6:37 PM #

    This is so great!

  9. calahan March 11, 2013 at 4:57 PM #

    Hilarious.

  10. GiggsMcGill Jill March 16, 2013 at 5:42 PM #

    I definitely giggled. Specially to last response, “brown machine that makes shoes”. Yep, it Does make sense! Hahaha

  11. lifeofalovergirl March 25, 2013 at 4:57 PM #

    Hilarious! My (white) kids crack me up because they were calling the lady behind us the “pink lady” due to her pink house and one of the neighbors was “the black man” because of his black truck. Nevermind he was as pale skinned as it gets. I was like this could be really bad in public….Ah, the innocence of childhood… Still, the teachers are failing big time if the kids don’t know the black people have brown skin. :p

    • Christopher De Voss March 25, 2013 at 5:00 PM #

      I think they just worry about being PC. How do you tell the child to color the black folks black? It should be implied by the black history lesson, but racism is learned not inherit.

      • lifeofalovergirl March 25, 2013 at 5:09 PM #

        True. I suppose it would be important to let the kids know we are celebrating “black” history month in remembrance of the ways some people have been discriminated against due to the color of their skin but here are some “black” folks that did amazing things anyway. Still at 6 yrs old they really probably aren’t old enough to get why their skin color was of so much importance. Shows just how much racism is a learned behavior.

      • Christopher De Voss March 25, 2013 at 5:15 PM #

        yes. in some weird way I’m glad she didn’t feel the need to have to color them black. We live in Florida, plenty of dark and brown skinned people around. Her best friend is Spanish and she plays with the black kids across the street all the time. I’m not worried about her growing up prejudice.

  12. eideard March 27, 2013 at 8:22 AM #

    Bravo!

    Yup – my first political arrest was in 1960 for daring to order a Coke while sitting next to a Black friend – who ordered a coke. 50 miles from the White House.

    The president of my union was limited by its constitution to white males.

    There still are tens of thousands of folks of my generation telling little kids who they should fear and hate on the basis of color. Hopefully, they will continue to grow up like your own little sprout and ignore their grandparents.

    • Christopher De Voss March 28, 2013 at 8:40 AM #

      Hopefully. I don’t understand race issues anyway. It should only be asshole issues. You can be an asshole in any color. Us vs assholes.

  13. Ryan Brooks April 4, 2013 at 10:07 AM #

    Haha, kids are fantastic. 🙂

  14. ksbeth April 6, 2013 at 9:43 AM #

    i so love your daughter’s responses )

    • Christopher De Voss April 7, 2013 at 12:04 AM #

      She is funnier than Daddy.

      • ksbeth April 7, 2013 at 7:06 AM #

        she clearly gets it from mommy’s side )

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