My youngest grandson came home from school Tuesday and mentioned to his grandmother, better known as “Gooma,” that he had heard a story in school about Martin King.
“Do you mean, Martin Luther King?” the good wife asked of the 7-year-old.
“Yeah, that’s him.”
The main point he remembered about the story was the fact that, years ago, they had two benches, one for the white people to sit on and one for the black people to sit on.
Oh, the stories I, at 74 years of age, could tell him.
I remember well that era. And one of those remembrances was when my father said, during some kind of family discussion, that the Civil War had been fought over slavery.
“That’s not true,” I replied.
“Then what was it fought over?” he asked.
“States rights,” I replied, confident that I was correctly reflecting what I had been taught in school.
It was many years later before I realized that what I had been taught in school, as a pre-teen and an early teen, was Southern propaganda about the Civil War. It was the Jim Crow School of Thought that pervaded society in the southern states. And I, like millions of other children of the South, was indoctrinated into that school of thought.
I, barely 14 at the time, was wrong back then. And my father was right. Time puts so many things in perspective.