I barely remember our early 1960s visit to my dad’s father’s family in Indiana but two memories of the trip are clear.
- Sitting in the living room with and hearing the Indiana adults use the N-word over and over and remarking on how dangerous the N-words were, especially at Kmart.
- Playing with the young daughter of the family. She asked me if I wanted to play with her N-word baby doll. I did.
I remember thinking then, and later, if the family hated African Americans so much, why did they give their daughter a doll with dark skin?
5 thoughts on “308/365 Visiting racist family in Indiana”
Wow. Just wow.
Goodness. I grew up with cousins with a gollywog doll. They’re about the least racist people I know now. I wonder how the daughter turned out.
To me the gollywog doll is very different from the baby doll the girl had. It was the kind that looks like a real baby (as much as a piece of plastic can look like a baby doll). I do wonder how she turned out. I suspect racist, but not quite as much as her parents. a gollywog was meant to look comical and degrading. (although I still love Rupert the Bear who has a gollywog as a friend in the old comics).
That is a good final question. I remember as a young child hearing a New England relative use the N word and I already knew, on some level, to be shocked.
I must have known it too because that is the only thing I remember about that trip.