In first grade, Lavelle Barnes was my friend and the first person that I remember interacting with daily who was black. We were friends because we were the fastest boys in the first grade (I think that we were friends because I greatly admired him). Lavelle was faster than I was because his legs were much longer than mine but it didn’t bother me. I couldn’t do anything about my skinny, tooth-pick legs or that I wasn’t as fast as Lavelle.
Two kids each named Jason were fast but we were even faster. One of the Jasons was convinced that if you quoted the cartoon character Speedy Gonzalez, you would run faster. I found that hypothesis to be false. The four of us would race all of the time but Lavelle would always win. I was more interested in beating the Jasons.
One Friday, Lavelle was supposed to spend the night at my house. For some reason, it didn’t work out.
I have no idea what happened to Lavelle after the first grade.
When was the first time you noticed racial diversity?