In the Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne, there’s a book titled CIVIL WAR ON SUNDAY. The synopsis is that Jack and Annie go back in time and witness parts of the Civil War.
There is one scene where Jack is sitting next to a former slave who was fighting for freedom. The man was weary and tired from injury and laying down on a cot in a tent receiving medical attention. On page 33 the book reads:
(Jack, who had been instructed to ‘lessen sorrow and give hope’) leaned close to the man and spoke in a soft voice: “One day your great-great-grandchildren will be doctors and lawyers,” he said. The man opened his eyes. Jack went on. “They’ll help run the government and schools. They’ll be senators and generals and teachers and principals…”
Reflecting on the Civil War, coupled with the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., truly, our nation has come a LONG WAY.
I have to stop for a minute to jot down for you the amazing African-Americans that are in my very own circle alone! This is just the start of a very long list:
- the neighbor kids who ring my doorbell calling my kids out to play
- our female pediatrician
- my female dentist
- the woman at the post office that jokes with my kids
- the cashier at our local grocery store that lovingly lets my kids help
- fellow teachers and co-workers
- dear friends at church
- our mail carrier
- the heart surgeon that had to examine my son’s chest wall
- the list goes on and on…
If I listen to news or media, I easily get discouraged. It feels like our nation will never be healed. But, when I focus on real friendships, real people, right next to me, it feels as if our painful history never existed.
I want to expose my students to people who get along, who work hard, who don’t make excuses, who create a positive environment. My hope is that in doing so my students will strive to do the same.
The annual Meet These African Americans series is my small way of doing that.
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If you’d like to purchase a copy of CIVIL WAR ON SUNDAY, you can do so here*.