By LEATRICE PACE

Rantoul Press columnist

I just want to bring some insight from an American black woman’s perspective. I would have never known there was a difference if I had never entered public school back in the ‘60s.

My family raised us to respect all people and to enjoy family time with aunts, uncles cousins and grandparents. Respect was not a choice. It was expected.

In times like that as an American black woman, families cared for their children as you should. Our hair was combed, our clothes were neat and clean and our shoes were laced up. We carried ourselves in a manner that was child like and representative of the family that we came from.

It was not as free to be me as it is today. Unkept hair, holes in your clothes and shoes flopping. Not to mention sagging pants on males and cleavage showing on females. We dared not be so open. Parents would have taken care of the business if we did such things, and if not the parents, then our relatives and even our neighbors would have. We had boundaries, and we stayed in them.

As I grew up I can recall three types of people — the "them people," the "they said people" and the "those people." Can you guess which type the American black people?

The "them people" had all the best of everything and dominate, while the "they said people" kept up all the chaos and had no official name to take responsibility for the problems that they caused. And then there are the "those people," who are most hated out of all the peoples.

They, them and those make up what we can and can not do in America. So when you think of black history month, just know that this is huge for those people. We get 28 days to shine, and it is OK, and one extra day every four years.

I just want to say God has a way of exalting His creation. We as one of the ethnic group in the world have endured, overcome, suffered and still remain. We are not extinct nor will we ever be.

Because of the mistreatment of human beings in whatever race you are from, we still survive, we still love, we still lend our voice for all. I am an American black woman who is waiting on Jesus to return and claim His. For you see Jesus is my savior.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16   

Be encouraged.

Leatrice Pace of Rantoul writes a monthly column of encouragement. She may be reached at beencouragedbecouraged@yahoo.com.