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Race Issues from the Standpoint of an Early Boomer


Guest ncm2169
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Guest ncm2169

I am what they call an "Early Boomer" - born in the early days of the Post-World War II Baby Boom.

 

I grew up in a Lily White mid-to-upscale neighborhood in St. Paul, MN, and until I got to High School the only people who were "different" from me and my other Lily White friends were several Jewish friends I'd made (and posted here about a few weeks ago) largely because we lived on the edge of another neighborhood which had been heavily populated by Jews after The War.

 

I was fortunate to have had an eye-opening and world-expanding High School experience because I was lucky enough to have my designated High School in the Central City of St. Paul which drew from every disparate element in the city. For example, we had the largest concentration of Afro-American students (about 20%).

 

Until I got to High School and made Black friends, my exposure to the (fairly small) Black Ghetto in St. Paul was basically limited to my (pathetically ignorant) parents' occasional Sunday afternoon drives throughout St. Paul which always included a drive-through of "#### Heaven." (This site censors the "N word.") (I'd like to think of them as not racist, but just victims of society in their times).

 

To cut to the chase here, I made a number of Black friends in HS, including one girl who I dated occasionally and who really delighted in thumbing her nose at society's mores in those days, when we ALWAYS made a point of dancing together at every school dance where parents attended as chaperones. We really got off on shocking those who disapproved of inter-racial activity - whether white or black.

 

I also made a very close black buddy who was my colleague on the Debate Team. We taught each other so much about race - if the defining experience of my early childhood was my friendship with my Jewish best friend (of which I posted a while back), there's no doubt that the defining experience of my High School experience was my friendship with this African-American buddy.

 

His father was a well known preacher and his family was very active in the Black Community. Our debate club formed a cross-race and cross-gender bond and we often socialized together. During the Christmas Holiday my Senior year, he invited all of us to his house for dinner. (As I type this it all seems soooooo insignificant but it was a BIG deal 40 years ago).

 

Eventually I told my parents I'd be out for the evening of December whatever. For over three days they individually and together tried to "persuade" me not to attend. They never forbade or threatened me - mostly I think because they knew I'd do what I pleased and because they didn't have the courage of their societal-imposed mores and convictions.

 

Why am I telling you this?

 

My best Black buddy who hosted that Christmas party went on to follow in his Dad's footsteps and become a preacher.

 

He died this week at a tragically young age.

 

I'll miss him and remember him forever. :*

 

Thanks for your friendship and inspiration, Jerome. :o

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Guest CURIOUS35

:-) :-) :-) :-) :-)

I read this post, just like I read your previous posts.

 

I believe now that I misjudged your Internet persona--You are not what you flaunt yourself to be! And I am glad to know that!

 

Click e-mail and send me a message...maybe...maybe...maybe we can connect after all! :)

 

 

:-) :-) :-) :-)

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Guest ncm2169

< I believe now that I misjudged your Internet persona--You are not what you flaunt yourself to be!

 

What do I "flaunt myself" to be? :*

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Guest CURIOUS35

It is not important how I read your Internet persona-- Now I believe you are not that!

 

Forget i even say you flaunt it -- maybe you don't really, and how I perceived you is no longer important!

 

As I said, i change my mind! Let us leave it at that! :)

 

SO? are u gonna press that e-mail button? :)

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