The Masai with the Light Sabre

My family is white. My parents had recently returned from a trip to Tanzania where they visited a Masai village. They gave my 2-year old daughter a present of two dolls, a Masai mother and her baby. At the playground the following week, my 4-year old son directs me to look at a child who has brought a light sabre to the playground (My son is really interested in Star Wars.). He says something along the lines of: “Mommy, over there, the Masai with the light sabre.”  I look in the direction he’s indicated, it’s a black boy who is holding the light sabre. We discuss the light sabre for a bit and then I ask him why he thought the boy was Masai. He tells me he because he has dark skin. I say: “That’s a good idea. He does have dark skin. But that doesn’t mean he’s Masai. He could be Masai, or he could come from some other part of Africa. Maybe he was born in Africa, or his parents or his grandparents were, or maybe his great great great grandparents did.” 

Leigh is a 36-year old white (Jewish) mother from California. Many thanks to her for submitting this story.

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