Imagine Having to Explain to Your Child…

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According to both Ancestry and 23andMe, my DNA carries only a tiny percentage of African Nigerian. But I feel it. Oh yes, I feel it. During the Jim Crow segregationist years, my paternal grandfather ran away from his black mother when he was just 12 years old. He wanted to live in the white world and he was light enough to pass.

He never went back to his black family. But I feel it in my blood and in my bones. Oh yes, I do. When I sing and dance, I have been asked, by several black people, where I get my soul. I didn’t know the answer, until I was 23 and my dad told me the family secret. But even then, the first words out of my mouth were “I knew it!”

When I was a six-year-old blonde-headed, freckled white girl, growing up in a community where the white folks bragged about running black people out of town, my mom took me to the doctor one day to see about my tonsils. Everyone in the waiting room — including my mother — sat as far away as possible from a young black couple with two small children and terrified eyes. I felt it very much, then! Even though I did not yet know about my great-grandmother being a black woman, I Felt It! And I couldn’t understand WHY all the white people were shunning the black family, because — my black and white cat had recently had a litter of kittens. Each of her kittens was a totally different color. BUT — THEY WERE ALL KITTENS!!! They all had tiny whiskers, and soft fur, and little tails, and tiny claws. They all cried Meow, they all purred. It made no difference, what their colors were.

I am proud to have an ancestor who was a slave. But I am deeply ashamed of my prejudiced, white ancestors. We were all created by God and made in His image. We are all the same inside, just like the black and white, and the orange stripped, and the gray tabby kittens that were born in a single litter. They were all kittens. And we are all humans.

This post by the movie director Mitch Teemley is perfect for today. Please visit his blog, too. Thank you and God Bless. ❤❤❤

Mitch Teemley

Rose, Father Peter, IngridRenika Williams, center, in the feature film Healing River.

This week in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a black man named George Floyd choked to death while a white police officer knelt on his neck, ignoring his pleas.

I am not qualified to speak about this. And by “this” I mean the ongoing pandemic of racism, an issue that white people in the U.S.–people like me–are perpetually blind to. Many of my friends, black and white, are speaking out about the incident. I haven’t spoken until now because, as I said, I am not qualified.

But one woman, a brilliant young actress named Renika Williams, whom I had the great pleasure of directing in her first feature film Healing River, has spoken both painfully and powerfully on the issue. I not only admire Renika’s talent, but love her as a person. She’s a joyful, faith-filled beam of light that floods every room she…

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