An American short story published in 1995 written by Steven Amidon.
There have always been racial problems in America, which is no wonder since the Americans took black people as slaves a long time ago. However, in the beginning of the 20th century the process of solving the racial issues in America begun. Nevertheless, it was a very difficult process, which really has not come to an end yet.
The story takes place in a suburb of New York in the year of 1968. The main character is a nine-year-old white girl and the story is about her experiences on the killing of the civil rights campaigner Martin Luther King. She, and her friend go to the movie to watch horror movies, only to discover that they are the only white people in the theatre. They both get a little bit frightened, since they are not used to being so close to the black people: There was little contact between us. True, our cleaning ladies […] were black, though they were a largely invisible presence in our lives. We knew nothing about our black neighbours other that the cruel jokes our parents sometimes told . This shows us that the ordinary white parents thought little of the blacks, which of course influenced their children to feel, threatened to be around the black people.
However the two children discover that it is not dangerous being amongst their black peers. They join the mood of excitement, as they realize that the black people do not want to harm them. They feel like a part of the crowd, which is a crowd like they have never seen before. The young black people engage in the movie in a way that the two young white children had never seen, and they get very exited. This is probably a proof of the fact that the blacks and the whites have a very different culture. Another example of this is the gospel choirs and the black way of going to church compared to the white way. Anyway, the two children are very astonished by the way they are with the movie, and they enjoy it very much, in fact so much that they come back again and again, until the tragic event of the shooting of Dr. King. The parents of the city become very afraid; probably because they worry that the black people want to punish them for the killing. They gather together with rifles, which reminds the girl of the horror movies she has seen in the movie theatre. She does not fully comprehend what is happening though she senses that it must be a terrible thing.
However, the young girl does not fully understand the difference between the white people and the black people. She does not understand the hurt that the black people are experiencing, and the hatred they have against the white people because of it. She goes back to the theatre, only to discover that the black people have changed tremendously in their behaviour. They are grieving for their loss, and they do not feel like being happy and engaging in the movie, quite the opposite. Even during the most climatic scenes, the only response was utter stillness, utter silence. This proves that the main character does not understand the loss of the black people. However, she gets scared and perhaps realizes it since she then goes home, knowing that coming to the theatre alone was a huge mistake.
Racial problems have existed throughout the human history. However, the most important issue on the subject is the fact that the different colours of men have different cultures, and unfortunately it is not everybody who respects this or even understands it. It is something that we have been working to solve for years, and something that will take ages to solve, if it will ever succeed.