Carey plants seed at Trinity Episcopal

Published 10:49 pm Monday, October 29, 2007

You never know when you open your mouth that you may be planting a seed.

After loaning her a copy of a docudrama called “Paper Clips” last year, Delecia Carey, Trinity’s head of school, called me to say what a profound effect the movie had on her. So it was gratifying to read in The Democrat that she actually instituted the paper clip program at the school (albeit substituting plastic forks for paper clips) commemorating those lost in the Holocaust.

It was also gratifying to read how profoundly it emotionally affected the students. When she called me way back then, I mentioned how I would love to see such a program implemented at the school except focus on our home Holocaust — and that is the Holocaust of slavery that occurred in this country.

Email newsletter signup

When I mentioned this to a dear friend recently, she explained that Dr. Carey simply tied the movie into the summer reading program.

It is my prayer that someday our schools’ curriculums will be filled with truthful and complete history books to include the likes of Willie Lynch’s “The Making of a Slave,” and historic media including the (rentable) four disc series from PBS “Slavery and the Making of America” and movies such as “Amistad.”

Sadly, too many people prefer to ignore how history repeats itself when it is swept under the carpet. Too many people claiming to be Christians would rather not step outside of their comfort zones to learn what effect history is having on our everyday lives and then ask themselves in full conscience how Christ would feel about their complacency.

As I prepare to put my house on the market and return to my former hometown of New Orleans, I know there are more than a handful of folks here who will be thrilled to see me go. Some are people whose consciences were pricked when I confronted the institutional racism I found to be deeply and profusely embedded in this otherwise profoundly beautiful small town.

The EEOC has ensured me I can continue to conduct my lawsuit from anywhere against the Concordia Parish School system for firing me for trying to make this world a more fair place for persons of color. But I return to my hometown comforted by a clear conscience.

While Trinity’s students might not be immediately enlightened as to the depth and truth of our home Holocaust, at least they are becoming more sensitive to the meaning of humanity and that is a step closer. Perhaps a seed was planted after all.

Sharon Marie Chester

Natchez resident