Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Eyes (sort of) on the Prize.

"Keep Your eyes on the prize. . . Hold on. . . ."

On the actual MLK holiday, we had a ginormous play date with several of my friends' children. This was the nerdy concept of my med school classmate and fellow Grady doctor, Yolanda W. (who has been up to such shenanegans ever since we were medical students.) Anyways, the idea was to reflect with our kids on why they were out of school, to read them a few stories and do some crafts surrounding Dr. King and the civil rights movement, and then to have them all watch a little bit of the classic series "Eyes on the Prize."

The crafts? A hit.
The stories? Not necessarily a hit, but definitely had a few solid takers.
The DVD of "Eyes on the Prize?"Uhhhh. . . .

Isaiah and Jonah. Quite crafty, for kindergartners.


Let's be clear here. We are talking about kids ranging from age 4 all the way to 12. We are talking black and white movie clips from the Little Rock nine, The Edmund Pettus bridge, and pro-segregation rants from that former governor of Alabama. And we are not just talking that stuff, but that other heavy stuff, too. Hoses spraying and German shepherds attacking men and women who just might as easily be their grandparents. Not exactly Sponge Bob or The Electric Company. Fortunately, the kids were good sports, and actually seemed half way excited about the whole thing at the beginning. . . . .

We were like, total Cosby parents. Like totally. Doctors, lawyers and ev'rythang. Full blown, new millennium Huxtables, I tell you. (Come on, don't act like y'all don't remember the episode where Heathcliff, Claire and the whole Huxtable family sat around clutching their chests in silent wonder while watching "I Have a Dream" on television.)

Well, anyways, it was feeling like it was going to be just like that. For real. Rudy, Vanessa and Theo had nothing on our kids! They clapped their hands and cheered. They answered all of our questions about Dr. King with aplomb! And then. . .finally, they all settled down into their chairs--cozy and cooperative--fully prepared to go on a journey back in time. Already promising to keep their eyes on the prize. Sigh. (This is the part where we pat our own backs and congratulate ourselves for being such forward thinking, politically correct and freakin' awesome parents.)

Then we actually turned the DVD on.

Wait for it . . . wait for it. . .

Um, yeah.

After approximately two and a half old negro spirituals, one scene of a woman in cat-eye glasses being handcuffed and escorted to a paddywagon, and three interviews with soft-spoken elders who'd lived through the movement. . . . .us (forward thinking, politically correct, and freakin' awesome) parents were nearly in tears, marveling at our Huxtable-ness.


Our well meaning attempt at getting our children more in touch with this important part of American history looked a little more like this:
Crickets. . . .

Oh well. It was worth a try.

Admittedly, our 5th and 6th graders were somewhat interested, but were a bit too distracted by the handstands and booty-shaking of the little kids during the interludes. (I'm just sayin'.)

During all of this, us nerdy moms did the thing that I have now come to accept that moms always do when it is after 4 PM and we have a quorum present: bust open a bottle of vino!

Out came the red wine, and (yes, it gets nerdier) Yolanda had us play a "Black History Trivia Game."
The proof.

I am not too convinced that Dr. King would have approved of all of the trashtalking that this game involved. . . .

I am proud to say that Crystal K. and I achieved legendary status as the winners of MLK Day-Red-Red-Wine-and-Black-History-Trivia Day.

Forward-thinking, freakin' awesome, black history trivia mavens, please step forward.

I don't know about Dr. King, but personally, I think that at least Dr. Huxtable would've been proud. :)


In the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, thought I'd share this other video that I love to watch every year around this time. . . also inspired by this great man with his great vision. . . .performed by another great man with great vision. Take a moment to listen to the lyrics of a young Bono. . . .forward thinking, too. . . even in his early career.


  1. Free at last... they took your life, but they could not take your pride...

    I've always loved this song for that line.

  2. Even though it may seem that the kids did not get much out of this, I am certain it made an impression and created a memory that will emerge again in the future when needed. It will emerge when they revisit this history, which they will be able to face with courage, because they have seen you face it with courage. In the words of one of my favorite writers:

    "History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again." ~ Maya Angelou


"Tell me something good. . . tell me that you like it, yeah." ~ Chaka Khan

Related Posts with Thumbnails