One of the stories I read to my class every year as part of a unit on friendship, is the story of Jackie Robinson. Today was the day to read it to this year's class. I did it this year without crying. That was a first.
Jackie Robinson was the first black man to leave the Negro Leagues and play Major League Baseball. It was radical and provocative and attracted a lot of emotion. Luckily, Jackie Robinson had Pee Wee Reese on his team - a man who recognized something had to change.
I find the stories of segregation and of how people treated people because of their skin colour embarrassing. I do, however, find great comfort in how shocked my students are to hear about segregation and of the apathy people showed at that time. My students sit with their mouths gaped open as I explain what segregation means. The idea of having a league based on skin colour was bizarre to them. When I tell them about hotels not letting black people stay there and restaurants not serving black people, and fountains for white people and fountains for black people, they sneer at me. They don't believe me. When I tell them this really did happen they look at me like I must be kidding. There is so much more...but I only tell them a little....a little of the Jackie Robinson story.
I am so grateful that I live in a time where people aren't treated differently (well, not to the same degree) because of their skin colour. I hope one day our society will get even better at it.
I am grateful for the pure hearts of children. I try to be more like them.