I attended a book discussion on The Bluest Eye. Regarding her novel-project, Ms. Morrison said "...many of the readers remain touched but not moved." "Touched but not moved" was precisely what I heard at the discussion. That was a little disappointing.
I listened to a woman tell the story of how, on her first wedding anniversary, she and her husband had to SHARE a 15 cent hamburger because that was all the money they had. They will celebrate their 50th anniversary soon. The wife said that they are going to go to that same fast food restaurant to mark the occasion. The husband piped up and said, "That is the only anniversary I remember out of all of the anniversaries, and it was by far the best and the happiest." Enough said.
I finished reading Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt to the children today. I cried. And the conclusion turned my Saturday's "a little disappointing" into "very disappointing".
To Stoic: Certainly, prejudice, bigotry and racism exist for all kinds of reasons other than skin color, including eye shape, religious preference (or lack thereof), social status, etc. And yes, history does show that powerful people tend to thrive on having a group of people to which they assign a "lesser" value. Why is this? It think it goes back to pride. I'm not talking about the pride I feel when I've folded seventeen loads of laundry. I'm talking about the pride that creeps in the moment I think I'm better than someone else. Thanks for your insightful comments.
To Gail: I appreciate your "different is not deficient" comment. Gently pointing out racism is a good start. This is not always easy. I often find myself in such situations (mostly in the grocery store!) as strangers question the makeup of my family. And to your point that raising children is a day in and day out effort...thank you for that reminder! It is a good one.
To abbiegrace: I don't know the ages of your children. I just wanted to let you know that my oldest children, ages nine, seven and five, all enjoyed Caddie's adventures.
To Tulip: What stands out in my memory about Caddie Woodlawn when I read it as a third-grader was that there was a little girl in my class who chose to read Caddie Woodlawn for HER diorama project when she found out that I was reading Caddie Woodlawn for MY diorama project. I was incensed. The book had a significantly bigger impact on me with this latest reading.