A Utopia in My Heart (Part Four)

 On Monday, Alicia returned to her school, Clayton Elementary, which like all schools’ in her area, was segregated.

            She was in history class where her teacher, Mrs. Lawson was discussing current events.

            “Children, what happened recently in the news?”

            Alicia raised her hand.

            “Yes, Alicia, do you have something to say?”

            “I was reading a magazine about Ruby Bridges. I don’t understand how some people can be so cruel,” Alicia told her.

            “Well, let’s discuss that. Class, why do you think some people are so prejudiced?” Mrs. Lawson asked the class.

            “Maybe, they are intimidated by our skin,” a boy named Diego Townsend said.

            “Alright, Diego, but please raise your hand,” Mrs. Lawson reminded him.

            A girl named Tessie Connor raised her hand and Mrs. Lawson called on her.

             “Why does it matter what color skin we have?” Tessie asked.

            “It shouldn’t matter. It is what it is inside that makes a difference.”

            Alicia raised her hand. “I thought Rosa Parks and Thurgood Marshall changed the way white people viewed black people,” she said.

            “They are trying, Alicia. And remember, not all white people discriminate against blacks,” Mrs. Lawson informed her. Then the school bell rang, signaling the end of the day.

            “Class, is dismissed. Tomorrow we will continue with our lesson, but let’s try to stay on topic,” Mrs. Lawson said, smiling.


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