Why is your face like that?
Embarrassed, I looked up and around the room to see if anyone heard the little girl. After composing myself from the shock of such a question, I knelt down and replied, “because God made me this way.” I could tell by her puzzled face that she was confused.
In that moment I wanted to point to Todd, the only other person I share color with in the school, and show her that I’m not alone, but then I had a better idea.
I didn’t want her to see just Black & White, society has exasperated these lines, I wanted her to witness the vast, beautiful spectrum of color before her.
I looked around again, this time really noticing each carefully painted hue. The room was filled with colors: vanilla and milk tea Koreans and Thais, brown sugar and coffee Filipinos, and a chocolate Todd, someone just needed to show her this.
“God makes people of all colors.”
This time I believe she got it.
Elated, I ran to my American teachers to share what happened. Tom, the most traveled out of us all, was very happy. He’s seen the repercussions of this question left unanswered-the stares, media outputs, beauty treatments aimed for darker (unwanted) skin. It made him happy to see a light-bulb go off in one little girl’s mind. “She will never forget,” he added.
I hope this is so, because I’m really looking forward to a more inclusive and accepting world. Honestly, I think we all could use some more coloring lessons.