"And I said to the one who stood at the gate of the year, 'Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.' And he replied, 'Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be to you better than light and safer than the known way.'" (Minnie Haskins)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

a rare opportunity

One thing that I have grown to appreciate about living in one place is the level of trust and openness that comes with deeper relationships. Doors to talking about race and connected issues have opened. Ms. Mary Porter (one of the senior citizens in my neighborhood) calls me her right hand woman. She has told me many stories of South Atlanta and growing up in Segregation. During one car ride she told me about how there are still moments when a white man stops to hold open a door for her or calls her ma'am or looks to her for advice that she is filled with awe and wonderment. She grew up in an age where white men would at best ignore her existence and to experience something so different is still very special and amazing to her. She also told me a story of how a family member (cousin or nephew or something) drove her to a meeting at one of her church member's houses. When they pulled up to the house a white man stepped out on the porch. The relative asked if they were at the right place and was shocked to hear that not only was the white man's house, but the white man also was her church member with whom she was coming to meet with. I treasure these conversations and want to take advantage of them as long as possibility as I don't know just how rare this opportunity is.

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