Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Record Breakers

In the past couple of weeks, I have noticed that a few significant records have been broken. And they are records that I am happy to see break. One of these records I posted about a couple of days ago. Disney is FINALLY making a movie starring a black princess (more specifically an African American princess in "The Frog Princess").

Second is that this year a black NFL coach will win the Super Bowl. Both teams being represented at the Super Bowl this year are led by black coaches. This is so significant because out of 32 total NFL coaches, only 7 are black. There have only ever been 9 black head coaches in the NFL. This year one of them will lead his team to victory at the Super Bowl. Those of you who know Z and I well, know that we are not the world's biggest sports fans. But, we will watch this game (as will so many other Americans) and we will relish the fact that we are watching history. It may seem insignificant to so many people, but I can guarantee that this event will have much the same effect on young black boys as Disney's black princess will have on little black girls. They are role models. They are examples of people who look like them who are doing great things. That is important to every little kid.

The third broken record is one of the political kind. Regardless of your political position, the news in the past few weeks in the Democratic party is significant. This is the first time in history that a woman is the Speaker of the House. This is also the first time in history that the two front-runners in the race to the Democratic party nomination are a woman and a black man. Granted, it is EARLY in the race and a multitude of things could happen between now and election day, but it is still significant. Finally, people who are not middle-aged white guys are breaking in to the world of politics and making a splash. Whether you agree with their politics or their ideals or not, is insignificant (at least for the purpose of this point). Finally conversations about politics in America are starting to be conducted by people who actually LOOK like America. And that is very significant. It means that there is hope that people of all kinds will have representation in the government that rules this country. Unfortunately, the majority of the diversity found in our government is in one party...hopefully this will change in the future, too.

Because I am planning to become a mother to two black children, these broken records have special meaning to me. They could easily be milestones that I could recognize and let pass by without a second thought. But, knowing that someday someone I love will be in need of positive role models that look like him (or her), makes me take note of these milestones in a very real way. My kids will not have adults who look like them in their family that they can look up to. But, I want them to know that I recognize this disparity and that I am conscious of helping them find positive role models who do look like them.


Cecilia said...

Looking for a great fairy tale story with a multicultural cast? You should check out the Cinderella movie, starring Brandi. It is one of my all time favorites.

Avery said...

The Frog Princess looks really, really good, can't wait for it to come out!