Did I mention that the school I went “home” to was what I call Lily White? There were no people of color there at all. And by that I mean any color other than white. There were no Hispanics, African American, Asian or anything else other than Caucasian. Now this was very strange to me as the school I had been attending had every nationality, color, religion that you could possibly think of, and probably more!
I did make some friends but it was not that easy for me. I still wanted to be able to do what I had been doing the past couple of years and yet was now too young. These new friends did not understand why on earth I wanted to do those things such as going to the games or dances or whatever. They did not understand where it was I had been and rather made fun of me when they found out. Yes, children can be cruel. And yes, bullying did in fact take place back oh so many years ago.
But being as young as I was I’m not sure that I really thought that much about those things. I knew I was somewhat unhappy but could never really put my finger on why that was. Of course, I’m not sure that I really tried to work it out as again, I was on the young side of life at that period of time.
I found myself also feeling a bit more smart than the rest of the class. Ok, maybe smart is not really the proper word here but there was something that I had that the rest of them didn’t and yes, it did distinguish us. It did put a line between me and everyone else. Did I actually draw that line? Perhaps I did but am not sure that I was the only one that did.
Things changed for me however, and actually opened my eyes just a bit. But again, being the age I was I did not know how to deal with it. You see eventually a black family (yes that is what they were called back then) moved into the neighborhood. The daughter was in my class and she and I became pretty good friends.
Of course, no one else in the class or even the school would even acknowledge her. And because I had become friends with her they began to not acknowledge me either. So those “friends” that I had worked so hard to obtain were suddenly gone, out of my life. And yet I had no clue as to why that was, what I had done.
I had never seen discrimination before. That was not how my parents raised us at all. And that was not the life I had lead before. And I did not understand it at all. And it troubled me but I could not put that into words as honestly it was not something I was capable at that point in my life of understanding.
That family moved away not long after that. I do not know why the moved, though at this stage of my life I certainly have my own thoughts about it. But the damage for me had been done. That is certainly, however, not to say that I would not have made friends with her had I know the consequences it would have on my life. I most certainly would have been friends with her and honestly have always been upset that I did not keep in touch with her. Yes, it would have been much easier on me if she had never moved there but I believe that in reality those so-called friends would have found yet another way to push me out.