At 8:45 AM I was in class to help my teacher get the classroom ready
for the day; I was seven and it was my turn to help with morning chores.
My teacher was in a dither because ‘colored kids’ were coming to school
Mrs. Sullivan furiously scrubbed the blackboard and muttered under her
breath about ‘niggers’.
I’d never seen any colored kids but heard lots of them lived in
Mrs. Sullivan and I opened the windows so we could clap chalk out the
erasers when through a haze of white dust we saw the first colored kids
arrive at my school.
I smiled and raised my hand to wave but Mrs. Sullivan grabbed my wrist.
Below us, a crowd of white parents formed a barricade with their
kids in front of the entrance; all of them had stones.
The black kids looked scared and paused on…
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