I was afraid that my black card was going to get revoked, but I redeemed myself by going to see Hidden Figures. You see, I did nothing for MLK Jr.'s birthday and I felt like a bad African American. I had all intentions of doing something, with the kids, to honor the man and his principles. I did my research via my mommy blogs and found the perfect event. Start time wasn't too late and the event was across from the carousel, so we'd have some extra fun. I got the kids up, fed and showered in record time. Right before we were to leave, Frank gets a call that he needs to go into the office. For real?!!! I picked up his phone, ready to call and tell them that he couldn't make it. He looked at me and said "I get it, you're upset, but this is my job so I have to go." Even though I wasn't thrilled about missing the event, he was right, so I backed off. We ended up going to lunch afterwards, which was nice, but I still felt guilty.
As a Haitian-American married to an Irish-American, there are certain traditions that we must uphold. To preserve my Haitian heritage, I make soup joumou on New Year's Day and my children wear the Haitian flag on Labor Day. To preserve their Irish heritage, they wear green on St. Patrick's Day and eat Irish soda bread and corned beef and cabbage. As an African-American, it's a must that we do something on MLK day. When I was a kid, my mom would either have me in someone's baptist church or walking across a bridge to pay homage. If she were here, she'd have popped me in my head and told me to figure it out.
When we got home from lunch, I felt that I had to do something to squeeze in a little black history, so we watched "Taking the Stage: African American Music and Stories That Changed America." Aside from the fact that the girls couldn't believe Oprah had a boyfriend (they practically clutched their pearls), then enjoyed watching Michelle and Barack sing along as Usher personified James Brown and Neyo brought MJ back to life. When Renee Elise Goldsberry, Cynthia Erivo and Christina Aguilera blew the crowd away with their tribute to Billie Holiday, Ethel Waters, Sarah Vaughn, Josephine Baker and Lena Horne, Marley looks to me and says "Wow, I didn't expect white people to perform."
Me: What?!! why not? Tom Hanks just paid tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen and Dave Grohl just performed an awesome guitar solo. Weren't you watching?
Marley:Oh... that's right. I forgot.
Me: Marley, white people enjoy black culture and like black things.
After a long pause...
Maya: Mhhhmmm...Mom's right.... Look at dad, he's white and he likes mom, she's black.
Out of the mouth of babes. It took everything in me not to laugh hysterically, but Maya has a way with words.
Me: Can't argue with that.
Even though our day didn't go as planned, as far as Maya was concerned, the Shea's have done their part in fulfilling Dr. King's dream, so I no longer need to feel guilty.