Friday, February 01, 2008

Thoughts on COLOR

Do you celebrate Black History Month? Did you know that today marks the beginning of Black History Month? Have you thought much about it?

Well, seeing as I am a black woman, race has ALWAYS been a predominant part of my life. Perhaps some black people out there will challenge me on that. And please do! But I can't remember race ever not being a very visible and talked about thing. In fact, it's weird for me when people do not include race (or ethnicity) in their descriptors of other people. It's just something I do without thinking.

And it is only since being married to a white man that I realize that not everyone thinks about race. I couldn't believe when he was growing up they never learned about famous black people who made SIGNIFICANT contributions to our world. I think he told me he never got off for Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday. I was shoked - I went to a school called Martin Luther King, Jr. Academic School! In our marriage, we talk about race all the time and think nothing of it.

I have gotten in many a heated conversation with others when they tell me they "don't see color." I can think of little more that communicates someone isn't really looking at me if they don't see my color. I mean I am far from being "light-skinned."

That said, the reason I want to be seen (including my race), is because God, the Creator, made me! Not only that, He made me in His image! God created me to be a black woman and neglecting that or choosing to not see that is choosing to not see Him. It makes my blackness out to be bad.

I've been noticing that Joshua has been talking about skin color. He'll say things like, "Ooo, that's not good" when talking about someone in a book who has a darker skin complexion. He'll say things like, "Joshua's skin not dark. Joshua's skin light like Daddy's." He's already making assumptions regarding certain skin colors being better or more desirable than others.

Where does this come from? And more importantly, how do we respond to these things?

Most of you (I'm assuming) would not think these things a big deal. But I know how growing up I hated my "black skin" and dealt with kids (of all colors!) commenting on it. I remember other black friends not wanting to spend too much time in the sun in fear of "getting blacker." Then there was the type of black skin one had - more red versus yellow was always better.

Anyway, color is a part of our lives.

I'm hoping our kiddos will grow up seeing God's amazing goodness in making people in all shapes, sizes, and colors. I hope they will not fear using descriptors as if they are curse words.

In our basement growing up my parents had a Black is Beautiful picture hanging. Well, I kinda wish I had one of those hanging in our home right now. Black is beautiful... as is every other color which God created!

So, I challenge you to see God's goodness in making all colors (from black to white), hair textures (from coarse to fine), lip sizes (from full to thin), and noses (from broad to narrow) for His glory! And regardless of where we stand in the spectrum, remember that we were each created in His image.

Oh - and if you're looking for a good way to begin thinking about Black History, check out Chuck Colson's Breakpoint commentary HERE. And just to give you a taste and to encourage you to check it out, did you know that Sojourner Truth's dying words at 88 years of age were, "Follow the Lord Jesus." That's Black History I want my kids to know!

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