2010/09/13

Return to African-America

It's back to work Monday morning, and I realize that I've not so much as spoken to a black brother or sister since I left.  From dealing with my parents' house with my sisters in Windermere, to our visit to R.'s aunt & uncle among the retirees of Clearwater, to my attendance at a 60th birthday party today  in a crowd of boomer hippies, I have been in a wholly white world, like a missionary home from the tropics.

It reminds me of the time we passed through Boulder, Colorado in 1981, and were uncomfortable with its unalloyed whiteness.  It will be good to return to the company of my African-American friends at the library.  I have missed them.

2 comments:

Martin H. said...

Our little granddaughter made a new friend last Friday. They held hands throughout the morning and chatted, non-stop. Our granddaughter, white and blonde. Her new friend, black, with wild corkscrew hair. The differences? None. Just two little girls, starting out in the world.

I'm sure your African-American friends have missed you. too.

Brett said...

Thanks, Martin. This part of North Florida is unique in that it was heavily populated by ante-bellum plantations, from which we have a very large black population to this day.

The public library, particularly the main, downtown location, is a public space where adult black and white citizens meet as equals.

In an age when libraries are devoting an increasing share of their resources to capturing a share of the entertainment market, (bestseller audio books on CD and feature film DVD's), the African-American community still expects libraries to be "poor-man's universities", where they can find out about health problems, get help with Bible-study, or research starting a small business.