Monday, April 15, 2013

Teaching Moments

Tommy and I have been wanting to see the movie 42 about Jackie Robinson ever since we saw the previews last fall.  Tommy is really into baseball these days, so when the movie came out this past weekend, Adrian and I made plans to take him. 

I had some concerns, especially since we would be exposing him to one of the ugliest periods in American history. I read some reviews in preparation, one of which referred to language so blisteringly foul you may question whether to take your kids to see the movie, but recommended taking them anyway.

We sat down with Tommy before we went to the movie and explained racism to him.  We talked about how terrible it was (and and still is, in some areas) to treat people poorly because of the color of their skin.  We told him that back then African Americans had to use different bathrooms, and use different entrances to the ball park, just because they looked different.  We also told him there would be some awful language in the movie and that he was going to hear words he had never heard before.  We told him they started with the letter "N" and that it was completely unacceptable to ever repeat those words.  We pretty much left it at that and headed off to the movie.

What a fabulous movie.  I loved every second of the story of triumph, seeing his teammates finally accept him and stick up for him.  I found myself with a smile on my face throughout the majority of the movie and I even clapped a few times, cheering Jackie on.

Most importantly, Tommy loved the movie too--even though it wasn't animated or in 3D.  He also learned something, which was worth the price of admission, in my opinion.

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