Black Lives (in My Notebook)

Wee hours. Of course Black lives matter! And so do all the other colors. It should be self evident that racism is wrong. When I was a seventh grader, we had Mickey Mouse social studies class with Mr Schultz. Much of the material dealt with racist attitudes toward Black Americans and other ethnicities such as Polish people. While the teacher was lecturing, I drew pictures in my notebook, beautiful doodles of whales and the heroes of Edgar Rice Burroughs novels I loved to read. At quiz time, I always passed with A grades while many students struggled. One time, a girl named Teri raised her hand and tattled on me for drawing pictures in my notebook. Mr Schultz said very evenly that if Robbie wanted to draw pictures in his notebook, that was okay. The same year, we had one Black student, a big guy named Martel. He was in my Beginning Band class. I didn’t know anything about playing drum kit, but we all got a turn before class started. When it was my turn, Martel always sat in a chair behind me and cheered me on. I loved that old green sparkle Ludwig kit. It sounded so great…

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