Yesterday, while going through instagram I came across a posting about this image that caught my attention. The posting was an observation about Franklin eating alone on his side of the table. As many times as I’ve seen this image, I’ve never noticed anything wrong until that moment. My dad, a historical aficionado, never noticed it either. This image was a hot topic during our family thanksgiving as it sparked a conversation about history that our kids needed to know.
Their grandparents could not go to school with white kids. Playing together just did not happen. Our kids love going to restaurants and their grandparents were not allowed to enter the front door. This is something that we rarely talk about but it’s important because it’s our history and our kids need to know those stories. This image, as sweet as it is, was a gateway to that.
Of course, I posted it to facebook with the caption ”
I have never noticed anything wrong with this picture until now…”
There were several interactions from others who never noticed it either or who wanted to talk about everything else in the picture but the segregation of a children’s dinner. I found this interesting for many reasons with most of them being that we tend to avoid conversations when they are uncomfortable because as much as this image is history, it is still very much a reality for many of us in various forms.
In an interview (below), Schultz spoke about the introduction of Franklin and how someone in the south wrote him and asked that he not show the kids in school together. Considering the time when the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special aired, I can only imagine the uproar that would have happened had Franklin been animated to have dinner alongside his friends. I imagine that had Schultz done that…this classic may not have seen the light of day.
It’s still interesting to me that in this day and age, we never even noticed it.