Friday, December 7, 2012

Miss Mildred and the President

Photo by Courtney Chintermeyer
"I'm not smart enough to understand politics much," Miss Mildred commented, "But it's a right dandy thing we be havin' a black president for a time, sweet potata girl."

I picked up my tea cup and grinned.  "I'm not sure I'm smart enough to understand politics much either, but I sure would like for you to tell me what you know."

"My roots go all the way back to slave trade, sweet potata girl. I heard stories from my Granny that was told to her when she was a little snip of a girl. Slave days was awful dark times for the blacks.  Folks could come take your babies right outa your arms and sell 'em off.  Might never knowed what happen to 'em."  

As she sipped her tea, her dark eyes went far away in thought. She laughed suddenly, "Oh, sweet potato girl. I 'bout forgot what I was sayin', didn't I?  All people's gotta have rights and that's what politics is to me. Givin' folks they rights."  

I nodded in agreement, thinking it was a pretty good definition. "And you think having a black president for a time will help make that happen, Miss Mildred?"

"I do indeed, sweet potata girl.  It's gotta be a good thing to one day be a country where little black children get ripped from they granny's arms and another day a little black child grows up to be president!"

"I absolutely agree," I said. 

"And a country where not only that, but where instead of ripping away little children from they Granny, we give food stamps to help a granny get by.  Now I know people go different in how that oughta happen.  I've seen many a people who aren't glad I have food stamps and think I oughta not even have all these children to raise. But sometimes life is just how it is and you gotta do the best you can with what God gives you for your portion. But having a black president for a time is a hopeful thing whether you agree with him or not. It says we're a country that's a gonna keep tryin' til we get ever'thing figured out. We set to changin' bad ways as best we know. And that's an awful good thing, ain't it?"

"It's a wonderful thing.  And I like him. A lot. And I really respect him and his family."

"Me too, sweet potata girl. Me too." And the wise old woman took a bite of her cookie, toasted me with it and whispered, "And he's kindy cute, ain't he?" 

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