November 8, 2020

Thank you, Vice-President Kamala Harris


Remembering my very early childhood when I learned how to ride the bus:

On her days off, Mom would take my sister 
Sherrie Thompson
 and me into downtown Charleston. There was only one car, so we rode the bus. Mom taught us how to board, which first and foremost included greeting the bus driver, after which we would put our bus fare into the machine.

Those trips downtown in the early 70s always included a trip to the KRESS lunch counter. An adventure for a four-year-old, definitely.

Simultaneously, as we lived in public housing, Mom and Dad were members of the Tenants' Association - this was before moving to the Waylyn neighborhood (where my mother still lives) and attending Brentwood Elementary then Brentwood Middle School and Gordon H. Garrett High School. Both the Tenants' Association building and the neighborhood Head Start were located between the Ben Tillman and George Legare housing projects, just above "the field" where children living in "dueling" housing projects met, smiled, squealed, played, and held homemade kite relays.

Strange that I would go to tenants' meetings at the Tenants' Center with my parents and watch movies about lead paint, and even more strange that the first book of poetry that I read was Langston Hughes' last - "Black Misery" - while not understanding the significance of the family trips into downtown Charleston during which we sat at soda counters, a simple act that just a few years before was a privilege denied.

As we get older, hopefully we learn history - not just what they teach us in high school and specialized college general education courses. Now, as an adult, I have some knowledge (won't say "I understand") and recognize the significance of things....and here we are.

Deepest thanks to all who made this happen, and thank you so much, Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris, for "taking us over that line."

No comments: