Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Who do you want your kids to be?

My kids have had the civil rights movement as a topic at school lately and we've continued the dialog at home talking about what discrimination means.

When I recently read this post from Kristen at Rage Against the Minivan about how some kids didn't want to hold hands with her two sons at a basketball camp because they were black, I raised the scenario for my kids, "If you were at basketball camp and the coach said to circle up and nobody wanted to hold hands with one kid because they were black, what would you do? Would you go along with the group or would you go against them and hold hands with the child?" They answered correctly that they would hold hands, but the question started up a good conversation about how we don't judge people by the color of their skin any more than the color of their eyes, hair, or how tall they are. We talked about the wide variety of colors God made people in and how silly it would be to think one color was better than another. My 3 year asked, "What color are we?" "Peach," I said, (or according to the name stamped on the bottom of Mommy's make-up foundation bottle, "Pale Ivory"). "People will call us white, and we are considered white people, but if you get the white crayon out of the box, we're not exactly that color, are we? And even within our current family of five, there are differences, my skin is very fair, and Daddy's not as much."

When I told my husband about the conversation he found a YouTube video about the Little Rock Arkansas school integration and we watched it with our kids.

The video mainly depicts one of the Little Rock nine, Elizabeth Eckford, with real life footage of what it was like the day the Arkansas National Guard blocked her from entering the school and the angry mob she faced. The video was a great one to show the kids. There was such a huge juxtaposition of the ugliness of the mob and what they represented and the grace, dignity and composure of little Elizabeth Eckford, just a teenager at the time! And it was an opportunity to talk about choices, Elizabeth made a choice in how she behaved that day and the people in the mob made a choice about how they behaved. And do we want to be the kind of people that treat others with kindness and respect or the kind that live to regret their actions?

I'm so impressed with and thankful for the example and the heroism of Elizabeth Eckford!

Here's the video:

Find more Thankful Thursday here.


  1. I, too, am thankful for God given bravery and strength to stand up for what is right!

  2. Wow! That was such an amazing piece with the video. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Really, really neat video. Thanks for sharing it!

  4. it is hard to raise our children correctly sometimes but I so love it when mine go against the grain and take up for one that has been left out

  5. How exciting to have such an opportunity to teach your children. This will stick with them.

  6. Great teaching and that is a wonderful examply of how to share love.. Hugs.


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