Growing up in Mantua #15

Grassroots start at home

In the mid 1970’s someone at Mantua Elementary school got it in their craw that they needed to change the Mantua Indian mascot to something else. This wasn’t like the Washington Redskins where the mascot was offensive and degrading to the Native American community it was a symbol of the tribe after which the community was named.

One family chose to stand up against this change and that is when I learned about grass roots political action. That was the first time I ever knocked on doors with a petition explained a position and asked for signatures. I was 8 years old.

In the end we lost.

We ended up with Rocky Raccoon as our stupid mascot that represented nothing of the character or history of the neighborhood. The raccoon was a silly cartoon character and I never looked at that mascot with favor the rest of my elementary school years.

But! I learned an important life lesson.

It is worth learning about where you live and that words have meaning. And sometimes, despite the good fight. You lose.

Thanks to the Benson family for teaching me about grassroots activism as a child.


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