a few words about miss chelsea elizabeth...

she likes: making kites, dancing in the rain, adventures, little-while friends, letters, whole-leaf tea, crayons, bare feet, jumping in rivers/streams/creeks/waterfalls, language, catching the clock as it changes numbers, sleepovers, trains (big or small), cuddling & waking up before the sun rises, among other random things.

oregon-born, seattle-raised, bellingham-bred and franco-refined, she had moved back to the states from her affairs across the atlantic & now resides in columbia city with french husband & love of her life rémy. they spend most of their time taming the garden, taking care of their three chickens & two cats, and preparing the urban homestead for a new little chick of their own.

Monday, November 26, 2007


i sit here listening to the npr daily stream. it/s magazine editors, talking about the bests of the year, talking about the most influential people of the year, talking about what/s to come next year. & there/s this undertone of african-american perspective. voices from ebony. talking about the influence of obama. "what/s the future of the black family economy?" etc etc

today in class we talked about holidays. so we could talk about months & it would be a little more interesting. we did thanksgiving last week, so this week we/re going through the year, talking about all the different holidays.

24- christmas eve (ca veut dire quoi, "eve"? le jour avant? la veille? ahhh! d'accord!)
25- christmas (oui ici on france tout le monde fete noel! pas comme vous, avec votre "thanksgiving" qui est la plus grande fete. ici, c'est noel.)
31- new years' eve (d'accord donc "eve" veut dire la veille, donc c'est le jour avant le nouvel ans?)

1- new years' day. (ahhh oui!! la nouvelle annee! oui oui on fait ca ici, aussi!)
15- martin luther king jr. day (-grand silence-...

-can anyone tell me who martin luther king jr. was?
-you can guess. go ahead...
-a king?
-a little king?
...more silence...

-no...not a king. he was a man. a black man. a very influential black man. who "had a dream"?
-a dream, that one day his little black girl could play with little white girls? that we could all live together, with equal civil rights? he tried to fight racism? he/s very well known chez moi, really.
-oh! racism. ok. he didn/t like racism. cool. so what do you celebrate?
-well, we celebrate his birthday, actually, that/s what the 15th of january is. but it/s to commemorate him. because he was killed. assassinated, really.
-well, he wanted to change things. some people had a problem with that. some people have a problem with change. he was black, and he wanted to end racism. so he was assassinated.
-hm. okay.
-seriously, though. you/ve never heard of him before this?
-really, though? are you sure?
-yes. this is the first we/ve heard. why?

umm... WHAT??? how is it that the youngest person to ever receive the nobel peace prize, recipient of the marcus garvey prize for human rights and the presidential medal of freedom, a man who has streets named after him in over 730 cities in the united states, and is considered to be the 6th most important person of the century by time magazine, the third greatest american of all time by the discovery channel, and the second most admired person in the 20th century according to the gallup poll is unheard of in this town? how is that possible?

i even tried part of his speech (as best as i could translate & remember it), to try to jog their memories. they HAD to know who he was. they just HAD to.

no use.

then again, they are in fifth grade, and they are french.

still, it took me a few minutes to pick my jaw up off the ground. looks like january will be a month where we are certainly not hard-up for material.

(by the way, in doing a little research of my own on mlk jr. earlier this evening, did you know that king county, MY county, the county i spent my entire childhood in, the name of king county was rededicated to him, to MLK Jr. in his honor in 1986? probably not. i didn/t. but even more interesting, did you know that our beloved county changed its logo to his face this year? in 2007? no longer do we have that cute little crown we/ve all grown to love. instead it/s mlk jr./s face. weird.)

then: (1969-2007)
Caption for image

now: (as of 2007)
Caption for image

craziness. you learn something new every day.


Anonymous said...

One of my favorite quotes:
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Anonymous said...

How is it that MLK is unheard of in this town? Very simple: "I Have a Dream" speech is copyrighted and this town did not want to infringe. Not even kidding. See www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30267589/ "King's family has fiercely protected his legacy, suing for a share of the proceeds from the use of his words and images in merchandise and publications... the family reached settlements with USA Today and CBS over their use of King's "I Have a Dream" speech without permission. A federal appeals court ruled in 1999 during the CBS case that the speech was not in the public domain."