Thibodeaux -- "The Train from Hate"
When the author, John
Hope Franklin, was seven years old, his father had moved to
Tulsa to be able to support his family. John, his mother, and his
sister had still lived in Rentiesville Oklahoma. According to Charles
Homer Haskins, who did a lecture on John Hope Franklin, the family
did not move to Tulsa immediately due to racial riots, and John's
father did not feel comfortable with his family being around that.
To get the daily supplies
that the family needed, they had to walk six miles to Checotah.
On these six mile hikes, John's mother would flag down the train
where they walked its tracks. Although racism is not truly a huge
problem now, in the past it meant everything. The train had stopped
and the Franklin family had boarded, but without realizing, they
had boarded into the white coach. Not soon after, a white man had
approached them and asked them to move to the colored coach. Ms.
Franklin did not want to harm her children, so she asked for the
train to be stopped. As the train stopped, the white man had escorted
them completely off the train. According to Haskins, John's mother
argued that is was not her fault that the only place to get on the
train was in the white coach, but that seemed to only make the man
madder. Without question, the family had begun their journey back
to Rentiesville. John was so upset, that his mother had to explain
the problems that society held. She
told John and his sister, that they had to be a better person by
Segregation was one of the biggest cases tried a court room
ever. Franklin's mother was able to teach her children that no type
of man would ever be superior over them because of their skin color.
She also taught her kids to us their energy as kindness because
if they hated, it would only cause more chaos and disruption. Although
this heartbreaking story really happened to the Franklins, they
have learned how to respect one another from it. Haskins says that
John was not prepared for the personal embarrassment that the racial
depression created for him and his family, and believes that he
never fully recovered from it.
This story really touched
my heart because I cannot stand to see how others treat people differently.
None of us look the same, and we are all different in more than
one way. I believe that if we did not have our differences, then
the world and our society would be just a boring place. The one
thing that I think of is the thing that Jesus told us to do, "Be
friends to your enemies." When my mind wants to distort others,
I ask myself "what would Jesus do?" Although the story
does not say that the Franklin family had God in their family, I
deeply believe that is whom John's mother based her theories.