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Separate but Not Equal



Separate but Not Equal
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.54

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    disobedience, equality, helping, oppression, brutal, education, historic, refused, civil, entire, illegal, revolution, glance, secretary, segregation, theaters
     content words:    Jim Crow, Rosa Parks, African Americans, National Association, Colored People, Martin Luther King, On November, Supreme Court


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Separate but Not Equal
By Erin Horner
  

1     One glance at my dinner plate confirmed what my nose had already suspected: meatloaf and Brussels sprouts. Seriously? My two least favorite foods! Begrudgingly, I started to eat. I knew that I had to clean my plate if I had any hope of getting dessert. I choked the meal down, one bite at a time. My brother, on the other hand, sneakily pushed his food around his plate so that it looked like he was really eating. He wasn't. He was just making a mess. Imagine my horror when Mom walked out with two plates of cookies: chocolate chunk (my favorite) and oatmeal raisin (the meatloaf of cookies). Mom handed me the oatmeal ones.
 
2     "Mom," I protested. "What gives? I ate my entire dinner, and trust me, that wasn't easy. Where's my dessert?"
 
3     "It's right in front of you. You are welcome to have two oatmeal cookies."
 
4     "But I don't want oatmeal cookies. I want chocolate chunk. Why does Ben get the chocolate chunk ones? He didn't even eat his dinner! That's not fair."
 
5     "What do you mean? You wanted cookies. You got cookies. That seems fair to me."
 
6     "That's not even kind of fair."
 
7     "No, it's not," she replied, "and neither were the Jim Crow laws."
 
8     Suddenly, a light bulb went off. I knew exactly what my mom was doing. She was helping me understand that "separate but equal" was a fallacy. My brother and I had separate desserts, but they certainly were not equal!

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