Tuesday, June 26, 2007

who's your grandma?

there is this little kid who comes into my library every day. i think he is about 9. i don't know exactly what is wrong with him, but he can't really speak. well, he can speak but it can only say a word or two at a time and it kind of sounds like he's speaking with a mouthful of marbles. but he seems to be able to understand what i'm saying.
so i'm putting up this poster set of African American Achievers i got from the conference (i love schwag! i got this set of 12 posters with blurbs of different famous african americans), and this kid, lets call him T, comes over; he is enthralled by the african american posters. i think he was asking if he could take a poster home with him. but i'm not sure. so i suggested to him that he help me hang the posters up. so together we made loops of tape and put them on the back of the posters and i would direct him to where i wanted the poster to go. and as he was putting them up i try to summarize in a sentence who each person was. langston hughes: famous poet. marian anderson: opera singer. flo-jo: olympic runner. whether or not he comprehended any of this i do not know.
so then, i come across a picture of an elderly african american woman, with white-gray hair and wrinkles around her eyes. and when i hand him the picture he looks at it excitedly and says, "grandma! grandma!"
"that's not your grandma," i say. and then i look at the picture because i have no idea who it is, and say "that's mary mcleod bethune!" ( i still don't really know who she is. i'll have to read the poster later.)
"grandma!" he says again, and he had this big proud smile on his face like he knew he was making a good joke. it was pretty cute.

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