“Beauty Inside Shines through the Outside”

Me-Kids-spouses-and-grandchildren-41Matthew Powers,
Riverside, CA.

“Growing up Irish and being raised by a single mom in the 50’s and 60’s in Omaha I saw racial tension and acts all around the city, but I can’t say I understood anything about it until my younger sister and I were transferred to a different school because mom couldn’t afford the tuition at the Catholic school we were attending. The elementary school we were moved to was an all African-American school and we were the only “white” kids there, we took a lot of abuse and faced the fact that our skin color wouldn’t allow us to fit in or be accepted. We were the target of a lot of being beat on, racial slurs, isolation, and being chased home daily but eventually we did make a few close friends and things settled down. I can’t say we ever fit in but we survived and built a few relationships. It was one of the best things that could have happened to me from an understanding point of view as I saw and felt from the other side what being defined by a color or race felt like, it didn’t matter who I was inside. My family reflects that lesson we learned, my seven children’s mother had a white mother and African-American father, my children are mixed and they are proud of it, and have spouses and boyfriends and girlfriends from other races and it’s a beautiful community. My sister married a Mexican man and had three boys. Through the experience I learned that true beauty, goodness, and humanity comes from the inside, and shines through the outside regardless of what color or race that outside is and we taught the kids to see all people in the same way, individually from the inside out.” CBU HIS 311

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