History Lesson: African Americans were forced to sit in the back of public buses, while whites sat up front.
My 9-year old confusion: All the cool kids sit in the back of the bus. That’s where you want to sit. Why was that bad?
History Lesson: The Lincoln-Douglas Debates were famous debates before the Civil War. The two candidates argued about the issue of slavery. Abraham Lincoln won the debates and was elected.
My 9-year old confusion: If blacks were slaves before the Civil War, why could a black man run for President? Elements of confusion here:
- Not understanding that the Lincoln-Douglas debates were for an Illinois senate seat, not the Presidency.
- Confusing Stephen A. Douglas with Frederick Douglass (who was the Douglass we heard much more about than Stephen A.).
History Lesson: Civil rights protestors organized “sit-ins” at segregated lunch counters.
My 9-year old imagination: black men and women having “lock-ins” at restaurants, where they slept there overnight in sleeping bags on the floor, the way I got to do sometimes at the YMCA. Again, seemed like fun.