Oh, Africa

“What’s that in your ears?” the middle school student at the school where I volunteer asked, pointing to the wooden Africa-shaped earrings grazing the collar of my blouse, as I turned my head.

“What’s it look like?” I asked socratically.

She shrugged and said, “I don’t know.”

Her friend sitting next to her jeered, “It’s a state.”

“It’s a continent,” I hinted.

“Oh,” they both said, practically in unison.

“Where are most black Americans traditionally from? Where did our ancestors come here from?”

One looked down at her fidgeting hands, the other looked at her and giggled. Neither knew the answer.

“It’s Africa,” I said.

“Oh,” they said shaking their hands in the affirmative in tandem. One of them repeated softly, “Africa.”

I was too heartbroken to press the conversation any further.

Lest they forget? No. Lest we neglect to teach.


~ by MsInklination on February 15, 2012.

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