Black Paint

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One day, when I was probably around three years old a close family friend named Michael, a tall African-American man, came to spend the weekend with us at our ski house in Stratton, Vermont. When people look at Michael they assume he is in the NFL. After a long day of skiing we all came home and sat around the fire playing Monopoly. In the middle of my turn I went to sit right beside Michael. I reached up to his face and stared rubbing his cheek with my thumb. “Does this come off?” I asked curiously. He stared at me with dismay and then chuckled, he then rubbed my cheek and asked “Does this come off?” I was confused at the moment and wondered why the black paint didn’t come off his face. My parents used this as perfect moment to explain to me the different colors of skin and races around the world. I apologized to Michael, my face red with embarrassment. Until this day every time I see him, he walks up to me, rubs my cheek and says “Does this come off?”





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