A Life is Short item March 2 transposed the names of twin sisters Beth and Sarah Gingold. (Published 3/6/03)

"We learned about Martin Luther King today," my daughter, who was 8, said. I told her he was an important man. She said, "He was African American." I nodded. She added, "Like my friend, Angela." I hadn't met Angela. "Angela is black?" "No," my daughter scoffed. I was confused. "Angela's skin is brown, Mom." I said, "Some have dark skin and some, like us, have white skin." She interrupted, "We're not white, Mommy." Still confused, I asked, "We're not?" She thoughtfully regarded her hand. "No," she said, "we're peach." I understood. We are all colored.

Toni Andrews Muckerman

Alexandria

At my elementary school in Capitol Heights, if I walked down the hallway by myself past a line of kids, I would hear, "Euh, it's a white girl." If I walked down the hallway with my sister, we would hear, "Hey, are they twins? That's really cool!" I'd still rather be seen as an individual, but at least nobody hates me for being a twin.

Beth Gingold

Upper Marlboro

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Beth Gingold, left, with her twin, Sarah.