We Have Come a Long Way Baby

My original intent was to write a short note to my community of Eastvale, California.  Then, as usual, I got a little long winded and decided that this needed to be posted publicly. 

In light of always being so ‘Politically Correct’  and not insult someone – it is hard to put what I have to say into words.  I hope what I am going to say is taken in the most positive light. Assume good intent here.

I feel very blessed to live in the great culturally diverse community of Eastvale, California.

Tonight, I watched my granddaughter walk with her friends to the Picnic in the Park.
A great group of teens, off to enjoy a community event.
It brought tears to my eyes, 20, 30 or 40 years ago this would not have happened.
Things were very different then.
In her group were Asians, Whites, Blacks, Mexicans. They are all friends, spending the night together having fun at a community event and being welcomed by the community.

To steal a bad quote, “We’ve come a long way baby!

I thought back….  I am old enough to remember sitting and hearing Martin Luther King and thinking, “Why not?”

Then there was Eighth Grade.  It was the first time I ever went to school with anyone other than white kids.  It was also the first time I had to dress out for PE.   My PE locker was next to Dora’s.  She and I got along famously in PE. Dora and I had a lot in common. We both loved PE, we both loved to run and we were both nervous about dressing out for PE.  More importantly, both her father and my brother were serving in Vietnam.  She and I shared a common bond.   Through that year she and I laughed and supported each other through the trials of tribulations of 8th grade PE but outside of that one class, we had no contact.  She was black and I was white.  There was no official segregation – it was an unwritten rule.

Tonight,  I thought of Dora.  I wondered what ever happened to her, I wondered if her brother made it back from Vietman and I wondered if her kids and grandchildren are free to walk to a community event with their friends together, despite their racial heritage.

I know it isn’t this way everywhere, but I am thankful and blessed to live in the culturally diverse community of Eastvale.

To quote Martin Luther King, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

I was only 6 or 7 years old when I sat in front of our black and white television and heard those words. I am glad to report that I have seen the day when the youth of our community are free to chose their friends by the content of their character and not the color of their skin.

Thank You!

Posted in Real Life Tagged permalink

About Baking Nana

Each morning my granddaughter Sarah calls to ask, “Watcha doing, Nana? Are you baking Nana?” Hence my “name” Baking Nana. I am a mother to three wonderful children and a grandmother to 12 very hungry grandkids. I don’t bake fancy cakes but I do make wonderful yeast bread and home cooked meals made with love.


We Have Come a Long Way Baby — 16 Comments

    • Me too, Joey. Truth be told my father was a racist. He hid it well and rarely vocalized his true feelings. It was through watching the Civil Rights movement that I was able to form my own opinions and beliefs. There are two speeches that are etched in my memory. I have a Dream of Martin Luther King and ‘Ask Not What Your Country Can do For You..’ by JFK
      There are people who would like to romanticize growing up in the 50’s and 60’s – not everything was so ‘perfect’.
      We still have a long way to go, but there is a bright light burning.
      Thanks for stopping in.

  1. BN: You can learn anything at bakingnana.com — artisan bread, brining of pork loin roast, English sausage rolls — and very important life lessons. Thanks!

    • Thanks for stopping in BikerFamily! This site is a mixed bag isn’t it?
      🙂 It can be dangerous when I start thinking out loud! One never knows where all that food for thought will lead to!

  2. Hi Penny….we sure have!! This is also evident in our AR Round ups don’t you think! Thanks for sharing….missing you!

    • Hi Noemi! Our AllRecipes gatherings are a perfect example and “Abby’s Spaghetti Sauce” speaks volumes! What a great group of people, all ages, genders, races! Food builds bridges!
      Hope to see you soon!
      PS: I need to talk you about publishing Abby’s sauce on the site!

  3. That was a great story, Penny, thanks for sharing! You should share more things like this on your website… After all, food brings us together, and these important discussions are what’s produced. 🙂

    • Thank you, Yolanda. I have always wanted this site to be more than just a place to gather recipes. Food is a common bond through which we can build bridges to a better understanding and acceptance.
      Thanks for stopping in!

  4. I, too, was in my school’s first integrated classroom in 6th grade. Six years later, my senior class chose him to be our speaker at our high school graduation. I live in the South, and many good ole boys and their attitudes still exist, but thankfully, many more have an open mind and accepting heart of other races. Like you, I am glad to see that my grandchildren don’t even see skin color. My 4 yr old grandson’s best friend at pre-k this year was a child of a different race.

    • Hi Paula, Living in the South I am sure you have seen far more dramatic changes within your life time than I have. Isn’t is wonderful how color blind kids are? I am sure that racism is still alive for many but with each generation we are moving in the right direction.
      Cheers to the next generation of kind, opened minded, accepting people.

  5. Good morning, B’Nana! I remember when integration came to our school. We have come a long way, but there is more to do. Perhaps there is less bullying between races now, but that ugliness still exists within the human heart, as countless news stories remind us. Somehow, we must evolve to the point where we can live in peace with each other, individuals and nations, as well. Thought-provoking blog, thanks.

    • Good morning, Brenda. Indeed, there is a LOT more to do. I realize that our little community is probably not the norm but to see these teenagers all laughing and walking together brings hope that the next generation will make even greater strides.
      I recently watched the movie ’42 – The Story of Jackie Robinson’ with one of my grandchildren and had to actually explain segregation. She didn’t understand and kept asking, “Why?”. That was a hard question to answer.

    • Thank you duboo. As I wrote this last night, I knew what I wanted to say and just had to put it in words. This morning, I fixed the formatting! LOL. Thanks for stopping by.

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