We had a maid I loved.

Christina Koomen
Roanoke, VA

This was the first sentence that came into my mind as far as saying something about race in my own life. There is nothing new about this “story” — a white family of comparative privilege employs a black woman in the household, and the kids in that household comes to regard her as a loved one. Her name was Ruth Canon. As a shy only child, I was almost happier to hang out with Ruth in the kitchen than seek the company of other children. There were times when I needed a babysitter after hours and would be dropped off at Ruth’s house, instead of her coming to us, and the difference in our living situations was stark. Only as an adult have I come to understand the complexities of this relationship and the socioeconomic drivers behind it. And yet, on some level, I can’t help but believe that two people caring about one another, for whatever reason, is all that will ever truly transcend issues of race.

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