My Best Friend

At the age of seven years old, I met my first best friend. This was before I even knew the meaning of the word racism. He was about the same age as me, and he lived next door to my house. My mother was the first person to tell me about him. She told me that the people moving into the house next to ours had a child around my age. I couldnt wait to meet him. At that age, I never anticipated how this new friend would change my life. Growing up outside a large city was great. My family lived in a three story Victorian-style home over looking the city in the distance. My next door neighbor was an elderly woman around the age of eighty. After the death of her husband, the elderly woman decided to sell her eight-bedroom home, and move to Florida to live out the rest of her limited life. A young couple moved in to the newly vacant home within a week. The couple had four children, one of which was my age. My mother encouraged me to introduce the boy my age to the other children in the neighborhood. I accepted her encouragement, and promptly walked to my new neighbors large front door. After knocking on the door, I was greeted by a young black boy. He we told each other our names, and then agreed to play two-hand touch football. As the game went on, I noticed other neighborhood children coming towards us. As they approached, I asked them if they would like to join our game of football. After a period of uncomfortable silence, they declined, and walked away. At the time it shocked me that the kids didnt want to meet the newest member of our neighborhood. It never occurred to me that it was due to the new kids skin color. Now it reminds me of how Greg Williams must have felt as he was rejected by his peers for participation in games. In Life on the Color Line, Greg Williams talks about how he confronted this kind of racism everyday of his life. This was the same racism that I saw as a kid in my quite suburb town…

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