My students strangely wanted to talk about everything that’s been happening with the upcoming election next month and it made me realize something. Most of these kids were born in 2008. Barack Obama has been their president for their entire lives.
I suppose I had a similar experience with Bill Clinton, but it made me wonder. To them, having a black president is the president.
It got me thinking because my students seem ignorant of racism. They live in a community that is almost entirely black. I don’t think they have ever felt like a “minority.”
That said, I don’t think they care. Their heroes are sports stars, many of them are black. The musicians they listen to are mostly black (or act like it.) They’ve grown up seeing black people in authority roles on television.
As far as the “race barrier” I don’t think they consider it and I think they will be shocked when they learn that not too long ago black people were segregated.
So, if my students say something like “someday I’m going to be president” I can’t think “yeah, right. a black president.” Instead I can only think, “Yeah, right, an illiterate president.” But then again, anything is possible.