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It Should Be Great
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It Should Be Great
16 year old aspiring author from Indiana who has an unfortunate name. Please read, you won't be disappointed.
|AUTHOR'S OTHER TITLES (5)
Alone In Blood (Short Stories) A girl is on a bus to see her parents. Little does she know, there's a surprise waiting for her...read and you will not be disappointed. [2,212 words] [Suspense]
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Memoirs From The Thanksgiving Season (Children) The title speaks for itself! [453 words]
The Thing I Cannot Beat (Poetry) A poem about... well, read it and find out! ;) [41 words]
Time Slips By (Poetry) - [71 words] [Nature]
It Should Be Great
"I cried for T.J. For T.J. and the land." my teacher said, finishing the very last sentence. For the past few months my 5th Grade teacher had been reading, "Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry" out loud to my class. Never had I been so captivated by the written word as I was with that book. It was, and still is one of my favorite books of all time. The author, Mildred D. Taylor, is a truly remarkable woman, and I admire her ability to be so sincere in her writing. I admire how she refuses to whitewash history, to not censor herself. She is one of my mentors, one who I strive to be like. "Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry" is about an African American family in the 30's. This is the first book in the Logan Family Saga. It tells of the family and the hardships they endured on account of their race. This was what started my interest in Black History.
Long ago, as you know, people thought that it would be a great idea to have people work for no pay. So they went to Africa where many strong men and women lived and brought them over here, in a country that was supposed to be fair, where no one person was better than the other. They were treated like dogs, like animals, sold and traded for other things. These were human beings being sold. SOLD. That is what you do with livestock, with animals. Not humans. They only counted as three-fifths of a person when a census was being held. They didn't even count as a whole person. Lots of people, however did not believe in this act. They helped the slaves, helped them reach Canada. When slavery ended, they didn't have to work for no pay anymore, but they were still treated like dirt. Even the people who helped them reach safety didn't see them as equals to whites, and they let them know that. There were probably several handfuls of people who did treat them equally, and they were treated as bad as the blacks. This went on for many decades until the 60's. As you probably already know, many blacks just got sick of it, of being treated so lousily, and they did something about it. Eventually the government either made more laws or they just enforced the laws better. Before, the blacks had pretty much all the laws they needed, but they weren't enforced. If a white killed a black, the event was overlooked. People just said that the black person had it coming and no one was arrested. Although blacks had the right to vote, many didn't because the white people who would register the constituents alienated them. They were bombarded with death threats or any other kind of threat until they backed down. They wanted to vote, but they didn't want to die. The people who did this were not punished which is a shame. But, after the 60's things were getting better. Eventually, after the Civil Rights Movement, things started to really get better, and blacks were mostly considered to be equal. But, in some peopleís heartís, deep down, they donít agree with that. They couldnít disagree more, actually. So, in a way, they arenít treated equally, not totally. Not like they deserve to be treated. I know. Iíve seen it myself.
I had always been very informed about African American history, culture and language. I have gone to a racially diverse school for my whole life, and I thank God for that every day. I also have many close African American friends whom I see all the time, so I'm used to being around them. What I'm not used to is how some people might act around them; some people may judge them without even knowing them. This thought bothers me very much.
I had never been exposed to racism; I'd never really experienced it. That is until one day, at the park across the street from my house, when I was probably 11 years old. I was playing baseball with my sister when another girl, about our age but maybe a little older, came toward us. She smiled as her blonde hair was blowing in her face, and she said, "Can I play?" Of course, having no reason to object, we said yes. After 15 minutes of playing with this girl, this other group of black girls came over and asked if they could play. Once again, they were about our age and looked nice enough so we agreed. One thing that bothered me though, was when the girl we'd been playing with first said yes, she said it in a snobby way, acting as if she were superior. I shook it off, telling myself that it was my imagination or something. For the next half an hour we played baseball, my sister, the first girl, the other group of girls, and I. We were having a good time too, but it worried me when the first girl started to act a little hostile toward the others, especially if they caught one of her pop-fly balls. When the group of girls said they had to leave, my sister and I said goodbye, and the girl with the blonde hair nodded, acknowledging that they were leaving. As we watched the group walk away, getting smaller and smaller every minute, I looked on the ground and saw a juice box that one of the girls had set there so she could play. The girl with the blonde hair snorted and then picked it up. "Isn't it just like black people to litter?" she said, retorting. Her face scrunched up as she said it, as though she had a bad taste in her mouth. I looked into her eyes, and I didn't like what I saw. I saw hate. I saw disgust. I saw something I never want to see in a person's eyes again. I was so horrified I didn't know what to say. Then I found my voice. "Why do you say that?" She flipped her golden hair off of her shoulder and said confidently, "Because it's true." I gathered my baseball stuff up, my hands shaking with rage all the while. "Come on," I said to my sister. "Let's go. It's getting late." I turned around and walked away. When the girl said goodbye to us, my sister responded but I did not. I haven't seen the girl since.
I have thought of that day many times since then, never really understanding why someone would say that. After my teacher read that book to me, I wanted to know more, so I read every book in the Saga. Once I did this, I gained an understanding of why things had to be the way they were. Why people had to die because of their race. Why they were shipped over by the thousands so that they could be treated like property. Why they had to do hours and hours of backbreaking labor for no pay. The answer is: there is no answer. I guess thatís just how it is, unfortunately. But we shouldnít just deal with it and accept it as the way things are. No, we should do something about it. Things arenít going to get any better if we just sit on our buts every day and not take action.
America stands for life, liberty, and equality. Our goal was to live by these three things every day. I'm afraid we have gotten far away from that goal in the past, and still now we have not reached it. We may never reach it, but we can certainly come very close. The African American race has indeed come a long way, but they still have a ways to go until everything is fair, 50/50. So, as I end what I have written, I say to everyone reading this; never give up fighting against something you think is unfair. Never give up fighting for change. Never ever be satisfied with something that is okay. Be satisfied with something that is great. Right now the equality, the fairness in our nation is okay. It should be great.
|READER'S REVIEWS (2)
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"Very moving Chris! You can write a well as you can publicly speak. Very inspiring. Everything you say is true. This is one of the reasons that you are one of the most honest yongue writers today." -- Patrick Collins, In, In, US.
"After read the superb "Alone in Blood" I figured I would take a gander at this as well. You managed to take a subject that is often discussed and present it in a way that makes it fresh and eye catching. Very unique and well crafted. Keep up the hustle." -- Lisa Hill, Sandusky, Ohio, America.
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© 2002 Christina Aspears
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