‘She Turned That Mess Into Lemonade’

Door of No Return

The “Door of No Return” near Dakar, the capital of Senegal, through which many captured Africans were sent into centuries of enslavement. 

Parenting is full of surprises and challenges–especially when racism pops up in your child’s school assignments. Your respond to the best of your ability, often improvising, and hope for the best.

Here my very own Babygirl shares the outcome of such an incident in her youth…

In fourth grade, my teacher assigned us a research report on a foreign country. She was a nice white lady. They all were. She said to choose a country we could trace our ancestry to. I was one of her favorites, but when she made that lesson plan, she was not thinking about me. Or Yvonne. We were the Black kids in class.

I asked my mom for help after school. She’s Black on her father’s side and Ashkenazi Jewish on her mother’s side; I thought she might get my bubbe on the phone to wax poetic about Eastern Europe. But she didn’t. Nor did she rant about the nerve of the nice white lady whose bright idea this was. If my mom was bitter, she didn’t let it show. She turned that mess into lemonade.  More


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