Samantha is six years old and has one week of kindgarten left. It was my turn to put her to bed tonight, so we started to chat:
Samantha: Daddy, look, I cut my hand (she shows me a small scab).
Me: Sorry, sugar. How'd it happen?
Samantha: (Smiling) Well, Kenneth bet me I couldn't jump off the high part of the bench, so I did it. Then I kinda landed like THIS! (puts her hands on the ground)
Me: Did it hurt when you did it?
Samantha: A little, but I didn't cry. I never cry at school.
Samantha: Nope. I'm brave at school.
Me: Okay. Is Kenneth a good friend?
Samantha: Yeah daddy he's a good friend, but sometimes I can't tell what he's saying.
Me: Why not?
Samantha: Because he's black.
Samantha: He has black skin. And sometimes I can't tell what black people are saying. We have black boys and girls in my class, and my teacher is black, and sometimes I don't understand them.
Me: What do you mean? Do they use different words?
Samantha: No, they use the same words as us. They just say 'em different.
Samantha: And a lot times when they're talking, they'll go "YOU KNOW WHAT I'M SAYIN'!" (cocks her head at an angle as she says it).
Me: They all do that?
Samantha: Yep. And sometimes white people say it too. That makes me laugh.
Me: I think it's time for bed now.
A Hard, Difficult, and Terrible Beauty
22 hours ago