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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Enter (02/27/06)

TITLE: Enter Reality
By Charles Duncan
03/03/06


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I ran down the sidewalk calling to Elnora to give me a good-bye kiss. She always tried to slip away from me and avoid this uneasy moment. I did not understand why she would leave without at least a hug. I would later learn that I put Elnora in a very awkward position because of my aggressiveness. I still did not understand. It was 1940. Elnora was clearly my favorite person. I was only five years old. The world of reality awaited me.

The signs of the times would soon begin appearing. The historic courthouse, built at the turn of the century, included four separate rest rooms each clearly marked with the race and the gender depicting who could enter. I guess more realistically, the signs warned those who could not enter. I would be told to drink from the public water fountain marked “white only,” not from the other one. Two high schools opened years ago in this town of 7,000 people. The choice of which school I would attend would be a matter of black and white. Interestingly, students from the schools would not cross the railroad tracks to face off on the football field or in any other scholastic activity. There must have been a reason.

As a five-year-old, the color of Elnora’s skin did not make an impression on me. I did not think of her as our housekeeper or cook. She was my friend. I would learn that knowing her was the reason I resisted the bitter hatred and discrimination that festered for years in this town and in communities like it across the south.

Now I’ve entered the world of reality. No more running down the sidewalk to say goodbye to Elnora. I wasn’t supposed to do that. But how do you explain why to a five year old? How do you explain why to anyone?


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Member Comments
Member Date
Helen Paynter03/10/06
Intriguing narrative, but I wanted more. What happened to your opinions? How did they evolve? What made that happen? What happened to Elnora?
Thank you for writing this interesting piece.
c clemons03/12/06
Come on you can do more :), Flesh this out somemore, we (the reader) want to know more about what do you do to personally stop racism.