Last week I shared with you all my challenges in discussing race with my six-year-old, and I just wanted to share what’s happened since.
After the MLK assignment, which required him to color in Dr. King, Justin was given an assignment on Abraham Lincoln. As with the MLK homework, Justin was instructed to color in the president, or he would actually lose points onhis assignment. With no instruction from us we left him to color in the picture of Abraham Lincoln. The image above is what he created.
Yeah So we asked him why he colored in Abraham Lincoln brown. He could have said a number of things, like “he’s on a penny, and a penny is brown,” or he “looked brown in the picture.” And it’s unlikely he’s read Leroy Vaughn¹s book, Black People and Their Place In World History, which asserts that Lincoln indeed had African ancestry. So why did he do it?
“He was a president and the President is brown.”
Wow. Wherever you stand on the debate of Barack¹s race and its relevance to us, the impact has been made and it is undeniable. Of course we corrected him and told him that not every president is brown by default, but dangit if I didn¹t smile on the inside. His mind is open to possibilities that we never imagined at his age, and that is change I can believe in.