When you’re a child, color does not matter. Where you are from, your neighborhood, the amount of money your parent makes or even the language you speak does not matter to you. We as kids become intrigued by making friends and making our families happy. I always wondered at what age we recognize that we are different. Is it taught to us a kids or do we recognize that we are all different colors, look differently and are even raised differently? I began to think about this more as I became pregnant with my own child I never want her to feel left out because she realized that she was not a part of the “dominate culture”. I grew up in Washington D.C. one of the most diverse cities in America. I grew up in a neighborhood by the name of Adams Morgan. In my neighborhood every other house was a different race, religion, or culture. One of my best friends (Caucasian) Ardele , she was an only child. Her family believed that children were free minds; she had complete control over what she wanted to wear, eat and do in her home. When it came to her education she did not go to my school she went to a private school. Her parents were very strict about school and I was so surprised that she could do whatever she wanted but she had to do an hours’ worth of homework. Now just two doors down was another best friend April (African American).
April had 6 brothers and sisters. She had to watch every one of them because she was the oldest. She never had time to play outside or go to the park, it was never just the three of us, she always had to bring her brothers and sisters along. Her family was very strict; they could not go in everyone’s house because they did not trust everyone. She could not go to sleepovers, she had to be in the house when the lights on the streets came on to help her mother with dinner and to get her brothers and sisters ready. I was never invited to her house for dinner. I always went to Ardele’s house as she would come to mines, but April was never allowed. April went to the same public school as me , so we walked to school together and walked home together.
When I got to the sixth grade April said she didn’t want to play with Ardele anymore because she was white, and her Grandmother had came home crying telling her that the white lady at her job fired her because she told her that she took some money out of her purse. This resulted to her family moving out of their home because they could not pay the next month’s bills. When I heard the hateful things April said her grandmother said about Caucasian people I assured her that our friend was not like that and that maybe the lady her grandmother once worked for was just mean. When I went home I told my mother what happened , my mother sat me down and told me that in life I would run into people who come from all over the world. I could learn about these people or I could act as if my culture only existed. She told me that the reason we lived in such a diverse neighborhood was so that she could educate my brother and I about everyone in the world not just what African Americans celebrate and what our culture entails. She explained to me