Childhood defined

Growing up in the 1960’s & 70’s childhood is easily defined by top 40 hits we listened to on our AM transistor radios.

Often just the first few bars of a tune from the period I can tell you who I was with, where I was and even familiar scents of the season in the air.

In the spring of 1974, two years after my elementary school was integrated, I can remember Cheryl getting me into a Soul Train line during recess just outside of the cafeteria as we danced through the line to this familiar, and now cherished, tune. Springtime brought with it the familiar fragrances of newly cut grass mixed with the scent of the freshly fried foods emitting from the cafeteria.

Integrated schools? Yes I am a child of segregation. My hometown had white and black schools until 1972. I was young and I thought it wonderful to have my new friends. Friends who were excited to join us, had rhythm and loved to dance. We had a ball with these new friends.

To this day I still don’t truly understand why segregation happened and why integration was  so resisted. I’m grateful that during my young life that progressive values toward better living, acceptance and understanding cane to fruition. It’s our job to keep marching forward no matter what obstacles lie in our way.

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