My sister; the first black student

My sister; the first black student

"What you're Mormon, and you have black siblings? That can't be true. They don't allow blacks!" Not accurate since June 9th, 1978. 

When my Mom heard that blacks had received full privileges as Mormons she ran into the backyard screaming with joy, heading to our neighbor's house, "Did you hear Diane? Did you hear the news?"

I watched her thinking she had gone somewhat mad; a mere seven years old I did not comprehend the meaning as I looked to my siblings, "What's gotten into Mom?"

That understanding changed rapidly as I soon had two more adopted siblings, and this time they weren't from Korea, they were from Texas, and black. 

From the first weeks they entered school, I knew this was different. I saw the looks; I heard a few remarks, and I felt it, but I felt it from my perspective, not theirs.

Then a few years back there was a Nigerian wedding in London; a fantastic event on the Thames with four-hundred guests. As I walked into the packed church, I looked around and saw only one other white couple. Later in the hotel as we were seated for dinner I scanned the crowd of four hundred, many in traditional Nigerian clothing, and saw that ten were white; I counted.  It was the first time I was visibly in the minority. 

My siblings walked into school every day as part of a visible minority. My sister was the first black student at Farmington, Elementary and the only at that time. My respect for the two of them went up yet again after my experience in London.  I wish everybody could be invited to a Nigerian wedding. I was so honored to be one of those ten on that glorious day.

–Allison Ochs, Social Worker M.S.W. , Coach, Expat, Mother of three, Wife