I like this idea of being a part of another group, another culture, for a day or longer if I prefer. We love going to Charro Days, to the Greek and German and Italian festivals in Houston. Even the Livestock and Rodeo Show allows us to try on a different persona for a short time.
You know what else can do that? A good book with characters from different cultures. That is sometimes tough to do as suggested by Walter Dean Myers in his NYT article yesterday asking WHERE ARE THE PEOPLE OF COLOR IN CHILDREN'S BOOKS? http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/16/opinion/sunday/where-are-the-people-of-color-in-childrens-books.html. THE ARTICLE LEADS WITH THIS STATISTIC: "Of 3,200 children’s books published in 2013, just 93 were about black people, according to a study by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center at the University of Wisconsin." And it closes with this: "Books transmit values. They explore our common humanity. What is the message when some children are not represented in those books? Where are the future white personnel managers going to get their ideas of people of color? Where are the future white loan officers and future white politicians going to get their knowledge of people of color? Where are black children going to get a sense of who they are and what they can be?"
So, on a day where I tink about my friend Martha, I honor her, too, by asking how can we show kids the rich diversity of our world unless we have books (and movies and TV shows, etc.) to share with them as well?