When you are as old and black as I am, everyday is black history month.😂 I try to live each day with that in mind by taking a moment to be deeply grateful for the arc of my life (mostly good) and to continue to imagine (dream) what I may think is impossible.
Born in 1954 the same year the Untied States Supreme Court decided Brown v. Board of Education making segreated schools unlawful, I still did not go to an integrated school until I was in the seventh grade. I lived in “colored town” in Crossett, Arkansas, drank “colored water”, ate at “colored restaurants” and sat in the balcony of the movie theater. I had a wonderful, supportive family, lots of friends and neighbors, and a library card. I spent most of my time at the First Baptist Church and the Crossett Library. I am grateful for the imperfect life I had growing up in a small town of 6000 people.
However, I have never been one to accept boundaries. So I dreamed and imagined. My very first airplane flight was to Norway where I spent a summer as an exchange student in Ulefoss, Norway. I lived with a white family, and I was the only black person in the entire town. I graduated valedictorian of my integrated high school class in spite of starting with a segregated education. I attended the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and Vanderbilt University Law School in spite of guidance counselors who advised otherwise. I dreamed and imagined.
So now with the passage of time, Black History Month is now my history. I use the month as a time for deep reflection and gratitude for how my life turned out. I use the month to marvel at how much about black people accomplishing things I had no idea about. It makes me proud.
But throughout the month, I dream. How can we be more perfect? How can we love more? How can we learn more? Now that I have had 68 years to reflect and reimagine, I believe that the way to change the world is to make one new friend at a time. I honestly believe that anyone who knows me will love me (and my quilts). So every day I try to be a friend and make a friend. I am grateful you are my friend.🥰