Red, Brown, Yellow, Black, and White

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I learned to sing “Jesus Loves the Little Children” in Sunday School. In the 1950s version, we sang “Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world, red and yellow, black and white . . .” When Ray preached in Cookeville, Tennessee, our campus minister’s wife was from Mexico. She taught us to sing: “Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world, red, brown, yellow, black, and white.”

When our family first began to travel to conventions, homeschooling was made up basically of families of European descent. Over the years, we have noticed that to have changed quite rapidly. When Ray, Nate, Mary Evelyn, Clara, and I were in Anaheim for the California Home Education Association conference this year, I was amazed at the diversity of the red, brown, yellow, black, and white homeschooling families there.

When we were at the Indiana conference recently, I got to visit again with my Native American friend that I blogged about on May 17, the one I called Sonsee-Array. At the California conference, I visited with a couple who both have Native American heritage. Like most Americans, they were a mixture. The man was not only Native American, but also French and German. I felt connected with him, because I have some French heritage as well.

I believe that American diversity is something to celebrate. Not every one feels this way now; in the past it was even worse. Several weeks ago, Ray and I had a chance to visit a Norwegian-American museum. We learned that Norwegians sometimes met prejudice when they first came to America. An African-American homeschooling mother at the California convention told me that she had a Native American ancestor, but that her father was very hesitant to talk about it. Having a Native American ancestor was considered something to be ashamed of in her family. I was shocked. Growing up in Tennessee, the people I knew were proud if they had ancestors who were Native American. Prejudice against Norwegians and Native Americans? Why? It just makes no sense to me.

Each people group who has lived on this land God created, this land that we call America, has contributed to its “melting pot” culture. I’m thankful that the homeschooling movement has become a melting pot, too.

I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the peoples,
And I will sing praises to You among the nations.
Psalm 108:3, NASB

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