Brer Rabbit and Martin Luther King

Trip Start May 23, 1982
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , Georgia
Tuesday, February 24, 1987

The home of Brer Rabbit - one of my favourite stories that my father would read to me before I went to bed. I think I particularly enjoyed Brer Rabbit because when my father read it he would put on a Georgian accent and get in character. I must have heard that folktale about a million times and I never got sick of hearing about the Briar patch and the Tar Baby so when we went to the home of the whole conception of the story.

Walking into that house was like walking into the greatest candy store ever invented. I recall being overwhelmed by the fact that the Tar Baby was sitting there in all its glory - in reality. It was like my imagination had been moulded to become reality and I could now walk around inside my mind and meet the characters that were living so richly within. It is amazing that the lucidity of some memories can be so intense and vivid that there is little difference between the memory and what will happen to you in the next moment. This house is one such memory.

I have included two photos to do with Martin Luther King Jr. even though at the time I did not have any real knowledge of who he was and what he accomplished. My childish mind saw stone as stone and brass as brass. There was never any chance of my realistically aligned brain interpreting these things as a memorial that was erected to remember a great leader.

A child knows nothing of race or racism - I remember that I was in an airport once and I saw a black person for the first time ever. I loudly said to my mother "look! that man's skin is black!" as if it were some fantastic revelation. Of course, the man heard me and he came over to let me take a closer look. He was not bothered that I had not been politically correct - how can you blame a child for an honest statement that had no negative intention?

I was fascinated by this man and I got to touch his skin and my mother told me that some people have dark skin, just as we have fair skin. Thanks to this gentle and kind man and my parents' example I have developed into a person who can not understand racism. I think that is the main frustration for a lot of people who are not racist - it is impossible to understand how someone could actually BE racist.

Either way, I am thankful for occasions like that (which I think was on the way to Oman somewhere) and my time spend in Oman because it taught me a lot about how every single person in the world is fundamentally the same. I think that is what Martin Luther King Jr. would like to see happen...
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