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Out of the Mouths of Babes

I come from a Native American Indian reservation. I have three children; all are grown up now and have beautiful children of their own. They were all born and raised on the reservation. We had a clinic on the reservation where I took the children for various immunizations and treatments. My youngest son was very hyperactive and outspoken. He sometimes would say things that would embarrass me. I anticipated he would definitely say something.

Knowing that the clinic had a new pediatrician from Africa, I asked his older brother to come with us for extra support. My children had never seen or been around an African American person. I told my youngest son, who was four at the time, “The doctor comes from Africa and he looks different, he has a very dark skin color, and please don’t say anything about this!” His older brother supported what I said and encouraged him not to make a comment about the color of his skin. He seemed to understand. Although, when the doctor come into the room he greeted us with a big smile and said, “Hello young man, how are you?” My oldest son and myself were on the edges of our seats worrying about my youngest son’s next words! With big eyes my youngest son said, “Ooh, you have ...” and he paused and said, “black... hair!” Of course by this time I could not help but smile myself, with a sigh of relief.

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