This week, my mind has been tracing back to these distinct moments in my elementary and middle school social studies classes growing up. I remember when we first learned about slavery, the Reconstruction, Jim Crow, and the Civil Rights Movement. I remember thinking that I couldn’t imagine being alive during a period of such racial turmoil and hatred toward people of color. I couldn’t fathom the physical strength and mental resilience that it took my ancestors to endure such dangerous and toxic conditions day in and day out, constantly living in a state of fear and uneasiness, knowing that there was no system to protect your basic human rights because the only system that was in place was created to abuse and oppress you. After that thought is done, my mind traces back to these moments of shock and horror as a little girl, listening to my mother tell me about the America that she grew up in, and the America that her parents grew up in. I remember her rubbing my back gently and reminding me that things aren’t like they used to be, baby. Things are much better now.