After Vera Saville left a moving comment on Black Lives Matter, we started corresponding. She generously gave permission for me to compile her emails and share her story and photos with you.—

This is Maxine, my only grandchild. She is the light of our lives. Her mom, my daughter, and her dad began Reiki classes shortly after I started.

Maxine practices Reiki with her parents and my other daughter Dena, who lives with me. I raised a son and two daughters as a single parent. Maxine is 12 and it is her future that concerns me.

We grow gardens in our homes and exchange veggies and fruit with neighbors. Maxine is the only child of color in her neighborhood in Long Beach, California.

She and her mother just had the talk about being black in America, a talk I wasn’t privileged to have as a child.

Vera’s life

I was born on a segregated army base in Arizona in 1944. There is not enough room here to hook together the dots of my life being born captive in dark skin.

At 5, I started public school in Big Bear Lake California as the only black child in the school. I was pinched and called the “n” word. A word that I hadn’t heard before. I surmised it was not a good word.

Children painted me white so I’d look like them. The teacher made them wash me but there were no explanations.

I’m the first college graduate in my family. My brother became a Secret Service Agent. Our motivation growing up was to get an education and life would be easier. We embraced our faith and didn’t miss church.

Tommie Smith was my classmate at San Jose State University in the 1960s. I was so proud to see him hold up his fist at the ‘68 Olympics. On campus, I began to read and experience more about Civil Rights beyond a Jet or Ebony magazine. Dick Gregory and Donald Warden spoke often on campus about forming a Black Student Union with appropriate curriculum.

I taught school for the Los Angeles Unified School District for 42 years and have lived through 3 major uprisings. My first teaching position was in

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By: Pamela Miles
Title: Racism and Healing: Vera’s Story
Sourced From:
Published Date: Thu, 18 Jun 2020 21:07:26 +0000

Holistic News Team
Holistic News Team
Anna Benning - Social Media Manager for Holistic News Live. Self taught naturopathy remedies, herb gardening, yoga, and meditation

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