I know our family is in a minority. I'm about to ask a question that only a few will be able to answer. Does anyone else that homeschools their transracial family have a really hard time teaching segregation? I managed to get through the grief and horror of the holocaust with some grace, but segregation stopped me in my tracks. We are moving along through history and stumbled into the 50's and 60's. I usually preview some of the longer books that I let Everett read on his own, but the ones I read aloud I don't read beforehand since I can skip or just close if it turns a corner that I don't want to go. Over a snack last week we were reading about Martin Luther King Jr and I was having a really hard time getting the words out.
The idea of segregation is very far fetched to our children. Almost like, 'Wait this is recent, these are normal people who are treating other normal people like this?' We read several picture books that deal with Jim Crow laws in the south. I was keeping an eye on Sally and skipping some sections that seemed so raw. As I was reading, looking around the table at the kids and their variety of skin tones, I couldn't help but feel like this was a history lesson that they needn't learn so young. I kept cringing at the words, "Whites only" or "Colored". They sounded ugly and confusing. Eli's cheerful take on this was, "Well, if we lived back then we'd just sneak library books for Sally and Jojo since they couldn't get a library card." Hmmm. Except I don't think our family would have existed back then. That thought made me so sad and ashamed.
We ended on a high note with a short video at the end of the week about Martin Luther King Jr's life. With all of my hesitation and worry about giving some kind of residual complex to each of the children about Whites vs. Blacks; the week ended with "one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers." Everett turned the TV off and said, rather optimistically, "Yep, that's just like us. Sisters and brothers."