During the 1950s my family and I lived in a growing suburb on the outskirts of Detroit. It was a peaceful and fertile place for children to grow. My early childhood was like a fairytale in this setting. Dad worked at the dairy, and Mom stayed home caring for me. I was an only child, but I was fortunate to have many playmates. We lived in a typical white bread world of the 50s -- until I discovered people of many colors.
At that time white, Caucasian, people seemed to predominate society and culture. African Americans were secluded in inner-city ghettos. Orientals, Native Americans, and Mexicans lived in separate communities, too. Unfortunately, this pristine society shielded me from this treasure of God's colors until I was about five years old.
One time when I was very young Mom and I decided to meet Grandma in downtown Detroit for a shopping trip. I couldn't wait! I loved Grandma, and I knew she would buy me a frilly dress and a new baby doll. As we boarded the bus, Mom's and mine transportation, all the patrons were Caucasians. I felt comfortable, safe, and secure and smiled at the other children on board. We traveled deeper into the city, and to my surprise, a Negro woman boarded our bus. Being a precocious child, I asked my mother, "Who is that 'dirty' person?"
Mom shushed me up and said, "That person is a Negro, a person God made."
"She has black skin. It's scary."
"She may have black skin on the outside, but she's pink on the inside like us. She has feelings like us, too. God loves her and all the other Negroes."
Her reply didn't entirely satisfy my curiosity. I stared at that Negro lady, and she graciously smiled at me.
By the time we reached the inner city about a dozen Negroes had boarded the bus. "Pink inside, God loves them," I thought. But, I couldn't stop staring.
My dream came true. I returned home with a pink frilly dress and a new doll. This time the doll was a chocolate brown with black curly hair. Although I could have had any doll, this doll reminded me of the Negro lady on the bus.
As our 50s community grew, new people settled in. One new family was unique; they were Japanese. The family members had straight black hair, and slanted black colored eyes. There were folds over their eyelids, and their skin had a yellowish tone. They were nice friendly people, who had come to our community to study medicine. Often the aroma of cooking fish and rice would emanate from their house. Little shrines of gods were placed helter skelter in their home. Sometimes the woman would wear long beautiful silk kimonos. I was fascinated with them and the boys, David and Clark, the English version of their names.
David and Clark were funny and nice; they were popular with our gang. We were all members of the baby boomer generation -- those babies born after WWII. We would mimic this war in some of our play. My friend, Carl, was the expert, and he would direct this game. We'd cower on the ground, look to the sky, and imagine bomber planes. At this point Carl would yell, "The Japs are coming, the Japs are coming." With sneering faces David and Clark would leap from the bushes. Armed with pretend guns, we'd shoot them to the imaginary heavens. Then giggles and guffaws would erupt from our faces. David and Clark were good sports as the enemy, and we enjoyed their antics. Their yellow skin and slanted eyes set them apart from the gang, but we were one in spirit.
One night at prayer time the black baby doll I held and memories of a fun time with David and Clark provoked this question. "Mommy, why did God make people in so many colors?"
Mom nodded. "He likes different colors. He made all people special because he loves them."
"Just like I have different crayons."
"Yes, that's right. Think how drab this world would be if we were all one color and looked the same.
"That wouldn't be fun."
"Yes, thank the Lord; it's a colorful world."
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be right now. CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.