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Why, Mama, Why?

Why, Mama, why?
Some of these questions l actually asked in childhood.
Others I still ask today.
Some are the natural ​inquisitiveness of youth.
Others, in retrospect, are more penetrating and timeless.
Maybe some of these are your questions, too.


  • Why aren't there any colored people in our church?
  • Why do the houses of colored folks look so sad?
  • Why is it that many of them don't have inside bathrooms?
  • Why are so many colored people poor?
  • Why is it they have to use a yard hand pump to get water?
  • Why is it wrong to say Coon Town?
  • Why do our colored friends now want to be called black?
  • Why did my school teacher say something that was very close to the N-word?
  • Will she have to wash her mouth out with soap?
  • Why do m​e and Nora have to go to separate school​s​?
  • Why does Daddy have so many black friends?
  • Why is it that so many black men say they like to work for Daddy?
  • Why are they so happy on pay day when Daddy writes the checks?
  • Why do you and Daddy want to have a Christmas Service for black folks on our farm?
  • Why do you and Daddy now want to have farm Sunday School for our black friends?
  • Why did that other deacon talk so mean-like to Daddy and say that we shouldn't have the black Sunday School?
  • Why did he walk away when Daddy said that everybody needs God?
  • Why is it that so many of our black friends come to our Sunday School?
  • Why does my friend Nora not have a nice basketball goal like me?
  • Why do we kids still have to ride separate buses even though we now go to the same school?
  • Why is it such a big deal that we white kids and black kids rode the same bus together​ all the way to Dallas for the student conference?
  • Why is it such a shock to my church friends that Brother Singleton spent the night at our house?
  • Why don't any other white moms let their boys spend the night at a black friend's house?
  • ​Why do folks not understand when me and Johnny do an opposite joke when I called him a honky and he calls me a brother man?
  • Why is it that so many black people get shot?
  • Why is it that so often it is the police who shoot them?
  • Why don't many of my black friends have daddies at home?
  • Why is it that Mr. Burton likes to listen to Billy Graham?
  • Why did they kill that preacher, Dr. King?
  • Why is it that some folks don't like​ that King and Graham were friends?
  • Why are some people racist?
  • Why don'​t​ they believe ​we are all equal?
  • Why can't we all just get along?
  • Why can't we help each other?
  • Why don't some people understand that God loves us all?
  • Why don't they know that hatred makes God sad?

Why, Mama, why?

Greg Loewer serves as NorthStar's Consultant for Language Ministries. He provides consultations for NorthStar pastors and lay leaders regarding non-English churches and mission congregations. A Louisiana native with 30 years of pastoral ministry in Texas and Virginia, Greg began serving with NorthStar in 2005. Employed full time as Pastor for Missions at Columbia Baptist Church, Greg and his wife, Janet, have five grown children and one grandchild.

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