I only noticed her pretty hair.

Jessica Cooper,
Glasgow, KY.

The first time I met an African-American individual I was three years old. My mother and I were walking down an isle in the supermarket and I looked up to see a little girl with the prettiest hair. She had braids with beads and ponytails and I loved it. My three-year-old self ran up to my mother nearly yelling, “Mommy, did you see that little girl? Did you see?” My mother shushed me as she was afraid I would inadvertantly say something that could be interpreted as offensive. It was only outside in the car that was able to get out, “Mommy, did you see that little girl’s hair? I love her pretty braids!” My mother took the opportunity to explain diversity to me. She asked me if I had noticed that the girl was a different color than me. I said, “Really? I didn’t notice.” The experience proved to me that prejudice has to be instilled; it is definitely not inherent.

 

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