The ambiance of Harmony Jones’ – who is African American — 10th birthday party quickly plummeted when she and her parents uncovered a shocking note from a school friend, claiming she couldn’t make it to the party because Harmony was black.
The shocking note, written by Harmony’s 10-year-old white friend, filled with spelling errors, is stated as follows.
“Maby I will not be able to come to your birthday sleepover, because my dad will not let me go because you are black not trying to be races [sic], but my mom let me no [sic] Happy birthday!”
Both Harmony and her friend attend Highland Oaks Middle School in Memphis, Tennessee, where they met and became friends.
Harmony’s parents were outraged after reading the shocking note, and were in disbelief that their daughter was subjected to racism at such an early age.
“This is my daughter’s first time going to that particular school. They strike up a friendship. So what would seem to be an innocent friendship never thought anything like this would happen,” Harmony’s father Christopher Jones stated.
He continued as follows.
“It was a picture of a letter, handwritten letter from a child. Said something along the lines of, you know I can’t come to your party cause my father won’t let me cause you’re black.
You would think in the 21st Century people would be judged strictly on their character or their personality, not on the color of their skin.
It angered me a little bit, it hurt me that my 10-year-old girl had to deal with this, and I myself never thought I would have to deal with this.
I guess us as parents need to be more aware and conscious about what we teach our children. I never thought anything like this would happen.”
Cardell Orrin, the Memphis director for the non-profit education advocacy organization Stand For Children, stated that “These are the obstacles that we’re going to have.”
“These are the obstacles that education, if not helps you to completely move past, helps to break down one of the barriers that are put in our way, he said.”
Lasimba Gray, civil rights activist, spoke with reporters after hearing about the shocking note. She stated as follows.
“Fifty-two years since the Dr. King ‘I have a dream speech,’ you would think that the basis for racism would disappear, but evidently it is being perpetuated by those who teach it.
Every child has a blank canvas when they come into the world.
When parents run across racism that’s a good moment to teach tolerance but more than that to teach understanding to appreciate each other and celebrate our diversity.”
After the Jones’ discovered the shocking note by Harmony’s friend whose racist parents banned her from the party, they proceeded with the party. They stated that they didn’t want to let negative energy ruin their daughters’ 10th birthday celebration.
[Image courtesy of Siddie Nam/Flickr]