Author: Sara Gilliam and Eric Crump

Two Old Friends on Growing Up Black and White in Lincoln, Nebraska

(Photo courtesy of Sara Gilliam) Eric and I grew up three houses apart in a fairly affluent neighborhood in Lincoln, Nebraska. We went to different elementary schools, but beginning in 7th grade our paths crossed more regularly, especially in the summertime when we’d bike together to the pool for endless, unsupervised afternoon swims or play made-up war games (I know, what?) in his backyard. Recently, mired in misery about the state of our country, I set out to hold a conversation with Eric. I wanted to know how he was grappling with America 2016, especially as a father. It turned into a more straightforward interview, frankly, because his answers were so good I just wanted to sit back and listen or, in this case, read over Facebook messenger. Sara: Growing up in Lincoln, Nebraska —  how did your parents talk to you about being black? Eric: In some ways, growing up in an overwhelmingly white town like Lincoln is unique, and in other ways, it’s just like everywhere else. When I was in maybe first …