The Color of Change

The Color of Change

Our family isn’t like that.
Like what?

We treat everyone equally and with dignity
Really…does Dad know about this?

Don’t get smart

No one like them lives in our village
They like to live among their own kind
Lucky for them

They’re happier, besides, why would they want to live among us…we have nothing in common.
Our streets are paved
We have a grocery store
It would be a shorter walk to come and shine your shoes and till the garden.
I hadn’t thought about that…yes, maybe we should open up more…

So, What color do I use?
For what?
To color them, here in my People of the World coloring book
Where on earth did you get a coloring book?
From Fake Santa down at the firehouse
That was not a fake Santa
Well, aged Camels and warm Ballantine…smelled like Uncle Bob…Fake Santa

What color?
It depends
On what?
What are they doing…hurting, chasing, killing anyone…destroying property?
Then don’t use Black

What color then?
The friendly, safe, less-likely-to-riot tend to be brown
Like our mailman?
Exactly…he’s safe

Is that why you accept the fish he catches as a gift?
Kind of….and, he doesn’t walk or talk with an attitude

And the black ones, are they Irish?
Why do you ask that?
I heard Nic the barber tell Dad that the troublemakers are Irishmen turned inside out.
Remind me to have a long, serious, talk with your father
Another one?

What about Nat King Cole…he looks pretty black? He’s an exception
Jackie Robinson…an exception
Hank Aaron…an exception
Willie Mays…an exception
Jim Brown…an exception
Sidney Poitier…an exception
Ella Fitzgerald…an exception
BB King…an exception
Louis Armstrong…like I said, they are all exceptions.
Gee, it is a wonderful world…of exceptions…

What about Sammy Davis Jr, another exception?
No, I think he might be part Irish

There’s a doctor in this scene
What color should he be…light brown?
Don’t be mean…that’s not even a possibility
No, color him Flesh

Okay I don’t see that color
That’s a brand new box of Crayola Crayons, there has to be Flesh
No Flesh, and no flesh colors; just Black, White, Brown, Yellow, Indian Red,
Prussian Blue,; are people from there blue?

There has to be a Flesh color, what do they expect people to use to color themselves?
Maybe use a crayon that actually matches their skin color?

That’s great, but what about the doctor?
The description reads that they are in Atlanta, Georgia; maybe we could use Peach…
They have Peach?
I think it replaced the Flesh crayon
Peach is good…most people are sweet and it looks exactly like the old Flesh.

Will nothing stay the same?

My English teacher says she heard someone named Bob singing this week, down in the West Village…telling everyone where the answers are to be found.

Where’s that?
Blowin’ In the Wind

I like that…makes you think…
That’s the point…and the hope


Copyright 2010, James F. Ross
Written permission required to reproduce in any medium


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