Meeting with the BAMA Kids was different. I have never been with that many kids of color in one room, or any space for that matter. While it may not have been a once in a lifetime opportunity, it sure felt like it, because in Vermont, people of color just aren’t there, so I felt like the BAMA Kids experience was truly one of a kind.
After leaving Alabama, I will have a hard time adjusting back to Vermont. I have seen so many amazing people, communities, and pieces of history. At the start of the trip, I had no idea that I would never think of the safety bubble that is Brattleboro the same way again. I just keep asking myself: How will I fit into the real world? What will I do?
I am excited to leave tomorrow, but I’m really sad to leave all of the wonderful friends that I have met. I just wish they could come see us in Vermont. I know it would be different for them!
Now what I have to think about after this whole trip is, What do I do? I am so lucky to have been given an easy life, open opportunities, and a great education, and I need to do something with it. It is hard to think what my place is in our current struggle, but I will keep thinking about it and soon I will do something to make a change, just like the foot soldiers in Birmingham, Selma, Camden, and all over the South. I can now see that children were really the ones who changed the world, and we still can now.
We met all these kids who are the same on the inside, but their color and ancestry is different. Talking with them was just like talking with one of our classmates on the first day at school: not sure where things are going, but you know they are similar to you. I wish that in Brattleboro we had more racial diversity so we could push our selves to talk about racism more in groups of different races.
As we began talking and playing with the BAMA Kids, I had an experience that I haven’t before. I have never really spent time with any people or children of color before in my life, so it was a wonderful experience to have. I hate to admit that I have made judgements or acted different around people of color. After this afternoon/evening I believe that has completely changed. Those children were so kind and loving to us.