We went to a release party for the new issue of The Trumpet last night. I remember attending some of the first meetings of the Neighborhoods Partnership Network back in 2006, but I’ve been out of the loop lately.
But the best part of the evening, for me, came when I went to the restroom. I should mention that the Community Book Center caters to a mostly African-American clientele, and their inventory reflects an orientation (by no means exclusive) to black literature.
Therefore I was mightily amused when I made my way back to the restroom and saw a door marked “colored only.” I wasn’t sure what was behind that door, but I had a laugh. Then I made use of the restroom, which was located next door and standing wide open.
When I came out, I saw a young boy of maybe eight or ten years who had wandered back there.
“Which one did you use?” he asked.
“What? I —”
Then I turned around and saw that in fact the door of the restroom I’d just used also had a sign. And what do you suppose it said…?
“Oh,” I said. “I guess I used the ‘white only’ restroom.”
The little boy smiled. “You don’t have to, you know.”