I know the year because that’s what it says on the snapshot.
It was my first official Halloween.
I was three.
My mother dressed me up as Aunt Jemima. Blackface and all (because my father was a member of the local drama company and had theatrical makeup.)
I don’t think it was meant to be offensive, just an easy costume for a mom to make.
She said I picked up the whole ‘trick or treat’ concept pretty quickly and by the third house I was ringing the doorbell and asking, “Got any candy?”
But that’s not what this story is about.
Several weeks after Halloween we were at the local luncheonette having a treat.
As we were sitting at the counter a large black man came in and sat down beside us.
My mother said I was fascinated and kept staring at him.
After a few minutes I turned to my mother and in a whisper you could have heard a block away asked, “Why doesn’t he take his Aunt Jemima off?”
She was mortified.
But calmly explained that not everyone’s skin color is the same.
The man smiled at her explanation and even let me rub his hand to prove her point!
|(Even at age three I look like I know this can't be right.)|