Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Black (10/15/09)
TITLE: The Marshal
By larry troxell
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My last name is Black. I’m named after my grandfather, not the color.
My friend John Mason is black, but I’m not. I call him by his last name because that’s what Coach does.
Mason pitches the ball real fast and I can hit a ball over the fence sometimes. Coach thinks we’re both very special.
My grandmother told me she marched for peace with Negroes like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. when she was young. People refer to Mason as black or African-American. To me, Mason is just my friend; and my mother agrees that’s the way it should be.
Many of my friends weren’t allowed to play with me after I started hanging out with Mason. My friends’ parents cheer when Mason strikes out a batter, but after the game, they claim blacks should stay with their own kind.
Mason told me his grandfather was a great baseball pitcher too. Once, when his coach stopped at a restaurant, the owner refused to sell the team any hamburgers unless Mason’s grandfather ate outside. That made the coach angry, and they left without eating.
McDonald’s serves Mason and me hamburgers any time. It couldn’t have been a McDonald’s where Mason’s grandfather stopped that summer they won the baseball championship. Mason and I, we want to win the state baseball title too.
Mason’s father is the high school football coach. Mason will play football this fall, but I’ll be on the sidelines. My mother worries I’d get hurt, however I’m allowed to try out for basketball later. We’ll still be best friends; our parents say we can visit at each other’s homes any time we want.
Mason and I have another friend we learned about from Coach. We’re shy talking about him a whole lot. Our new friend says we’re supposed to love each other. Mason and I swore a pact to love everybody no matter how mean they are.
Mason’s family wants him to be a civil rights lawyer. I’m going to work for peace too.
Marshal Marshall Black. Pretty cool, huh?
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