When family, friends, acquaintances and former classmates discover I write a political blog, they to a person respond, that's so you. My passion in history, politics and social issues has been present for most of my life. Part of the reason is rooted in the old adage, the apple does not fall far from the tree.
To this day, my most engaging political discussions occur between my parents and me. My parents have always been very politically informed and encouraged my sisters and me to develop our political IQ.
But for me, the passion dramatically lit fire during my fifth grade school year. Throughout my elementary education in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, I was more often than not, the only black student in my class (in practically all white schools). In fifth grade, at that time, American history - including the Revolutionary War - was taught.
Up to that point, my teacher-student role was traditional; the teacher taught and I learned - never challenging the curriculum. However, learning about the quest for freedom by our country's slave owning forefathers struck me as odd and altered my consciousness in ways I did not fully understand at the time
Something fundamentally awakened my soul after hearing Patrick Henry, southern slave owner, demand:
Give Me Liberty, Or Give Me Death
My teacher, to her credit, tried her best to answer the obvious question, how can relatively free men, that owned slaves, chant we want our freedom? Or, how can men actively denying other men freedom, proudly write, All men are created equal. Like I said, my teacher tried but, her answer to me, even at ten years old, sounded like Charlie Brown speak: wamp-wamp-wamp.
My questions would remain dormant in my mind until my first read (age 15) of The Autobiography of Malcolm X. This book literally rocked my soul. Brother Malcolm's presentation of USA history and world events was finally a perspective that made sense to me.
Fast foreward: This is why I write and this is why Michelle Bachman's quote (and other Tea Party utterances):
We also know that the very founders that wrote those documents worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States
has me feeling the fifth grade feeling all over again...wamp-wamp-wamp!