Duke Gardens in the snow: Part 2
"Beneath the Southern Cross" - Richard Rogers/"No Other Love" - Rogers and Hammerstein

Incident - Countee Cullen

Once riding in old Baltimore,
Heart-filled, head-filled with glee,
I saw a Baltimorean
Keep looking straight at me.

Now I was eight and very small,
And he was no whit bigger,
And so I smiled, but he poked out
His tongue, and called me, "Nigger."

I saw the whole of Baltimore
From May until December;
Of all the things that happened there
That's all that I remember.

I was reading this out loud to younger son the other day while homeschooling.  When I got to the word in quotes, I just pointed, but did not read it out loud.  He asked me why, and I said that I never say that word - that I would be more likely to use the f-word than that one.  Since I generally don't swear (except when singing along with songs by Pink when I'm in the car alone, and he doesn't know about that), this greatly impressed him.  "What does that word mean?" he asked, and I explained. 

So, is it good or bad that he didn't know the meaning of the word-in-quotes-which-I-won't-even-type?  Lucky or sheltered?

I meant to do a separate study on the Harlem Renaissance as part of our homeschooling because  I found it fascinating when we studied it in as part of American Intellectual History in graduate school.  However, we didn't get to it with older son and probably won't happen with daughter.  There are still years to go with younger son, though.

[Incident was copied from Poets of Cambridge, USA.]



I think there is always time later to learn these horrible things. It's a shame to have them out there to learn... but better, I think, to learn them later, when the revulsion is likely to be stronger.

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