“Grown people know that they do not always know the why of things, and even if they think they know, they do not know where and how they got the proof. Hence the irritation they show when children keep on demanding to know if a thing is so and how the grown folks got the proof of it. It is so troublesome because it is disturbing to the pigeon-hole way of life. It is upsetting because until the elders are pushed for an answer, they have never looked to see if it was so, now how they came by what passes for proof to their acceptances of certain things as true. So, if telling their questioning young to run off and play does not suffice for an answer, a good slapping of the child’s bottom is held to be proof positive for anything from spelling Constantinople to why the sea is salt. It was told to the old folks and that had been enough for them, or to put it in a Negro idiom, nobody didn’t tell’em, but they heard. So there must be comething wrong with a child that questions the gods of the pigeon-holes.
I was always asking and making myself a crow in a pigeon’s nest. It was hard on my family and surroundings, and they in turn were hard on me. I did not know then, as I know now, that people are prone to build a statue of the kind of person that it pleases them to be. And few people want to be forced to ask themselves, “What if there is no me like my statue?” The thing to do is to grab the broom of anger and drive off the beast of fear.”
- Zora Neale Hurston’s personality as a child bears a striking resemblence to my own.
Precocious, persistent, vivacious, and unfiltered …I stayed in trouble, described as a child who “challenged everything”.
I really just wanted to know Why…