Welcome Changes!

Last night while watching the Democratic Presidential acceptance speech, I thought about how things were when I was a girl. My Mother and Dad both worked and with 5 kids, 4 at home, things tended to be more than Mother could handle. Back then, we wore dresses to school and each dress was starched and pressed to perfection. To assist Mother, she and Daddy hired an african-american woman to clean house and iron. She came in once a week. We had several before finally finding our Miss Sophie and she soon became a member of the family. I remember one Easter, I received 2 chicks from the Easter bunny that eventually grew into really ugly and dirty chickens. I kept them in a storage room in our garage and Mother finally put her foot down and said they had to go. Miss Sophie offered to take them and any time I asked her about my chickens, she would spin the most beautiful story of their lives. More than likely, they were eaten but she would never have told me that.

I remember Daddy taking Sophie down town after her days work and seeing all of the African-Americans that worked in town standing outside of the grocery store. They were waiting for their rides to their homes (we had no African-Americans living in our town).  It never occurred to me that they stood outside the grocery store because they were not allowed in. I don’t know whether they were or not, my memory fails me in remembering if I ever saw any in there.

When I was in 6th grade, we moved to a new house but Miss Sophie continued to come. One day at lunch, Daddy and I sat down at the table to eat and Miss Sophie was standing at the counter. Daddy invited her to eat with us and she fixed her plate and returned to the counter. Daddy told her if she was going to eat in our house, she would eat with the rest of us. I didn’t understand at the time why Sophie hesitated, now I know.

I guess I lived a sheltered life. I never saw the discrimination against the blacks where I grew up in Texas and never knew it existed. Maybe it was because there were so few around in our town. They came to work during the day and left at night. I never went to school with any until high school but didn’t realize they were any different than I was.

As I grew up, I began to learn of the terrible things they experienced and still didn’t understand. I still don’t understand how one human being can judge another only by the color of their skin.

I have been very fortunate to have had a lot of African-American friends in my life and I can still say, they are no different than me.

I celebrate the accomplishment of Mr. Obama and his family and celebrate the acknowledgment of the people of this country that black, white, yellow, gold, or whatever, we are all humans who have the same feelings, hopes, and dreams. Good luck Mr. Obama and Miss Sophie, I think of you often.

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