Heads Up

Last night, my children and I were playing Heads Up and we stumbled upon a Black Excellence stack. I’m not sure if it was a special, limited to Black History Month, or what, but we decided to check it out…(it was awesome by the way, hope it’s still there).

One of the cards/answers was Dred Scott. It was my son’s turn and I knew he didn’t know it, so my daughter and I started explaining it to him. I mistakenly started explaining Plessy v Ferguson and my daughter fact checked me! 😊 She looked it up and read the details of the case to us. As she read, my personal reading and African American college studies started creeping back.

In 1857, Dred Scott sued the United States for the freedom of his family and that of himself. His suit was based on a law that said if an enslaved person lived in a state for a period of time where enslavement was illegal, they could gain their freedom. He lost.

The Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that neither he nor any other person of African ancestry could claim citizenship in the United States. I repeated that to my son. Neither he nor any other person of African ancestry could claim citizenship in the United States…

The highest court in the land made that ruling. It was long ago, but it is upon this foundation that all of its systems, institutions, policies and laws were built. That is the foundation of the house known as the United States.

You can redecorate a house, but does that change the foundation of said house?”


I told him, the spirit of that decision is why we now call Costa Rica home. ¡Pura vida!

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