Local, state & federal laws
favored people who are Caucasian
in daily dealings, with a fatal flaw
for those who challenged the situation.
White family wealth is accrued
over centuries while people of color
endure socioeconomic abuse
as generations struggle to recover.
An absence of any pursuit
of justice for Black bodily harm
was so common that distrust took root
in the community for cops as the norm.
Remnants of this unjust legacy
now make national headlines
that spotlight systems of White Supremacy
as unarmed Blacks meet an untimely demise.
Agents of the state rarely tried
for overstepping their authority
My experience navigating branches of my family tree highlights the efforts of 18th and 19th-century European slavers who orphaned Africans stolen from their homeland. Subsequently, these Europeans strived to indoctrinate those same Africans and their descendants with a false idea of White supremacy, which is reflected in the blunted roots that I have encountered in my genealogical research.
The 1619 Project’s purpose to establish a direct and extended correlation between current aspects of today’s society and the cagey practices of the institution of slavery is reinforced by the results of my genealogy research.
The world is in need of a voice such as yours. Writing may seem to you like a small contribution to the world, but your output may be the voice that brightens the world for someone who subscribes or even stumbles upon your pieces. Your writing for that reader is the difference between a monophonic and stereophonic literary encounter. Borrowing this concept from music, your writing offers additional narratives to people curious about the topics that you are covering. …
A simple greeting as I first enter
a space you occupy lightens the mood
to set a charming tone that tempers
interactions as interests are pursued.
Ground rules refined through generations
show honor and respect through behavior
that’s appreciated, as expectations
of social graces are met and curry favor.
A stone face and dismissive demeanor
set a sour tone that inhibits goodwill,
and can label one as a deceiver
when acting sweet for goals to fulfill.
Some families led by young adults
downplay the worth of courtesy
with their kids while a culture of insults
is cheered for ‘ingenious’ hilarity.
It’s not often when I have a close encounter with nature that’s impressive…when I didn’t even leave home. As documented in the above photo, a hawk perched on the planter outside my front door. He was a little over a foot tall. He stayed there for what felt like a few minutes, then flew off — rocking the planter a bit as he left.
I was astonished by the brief encounter along with other feelings. On the one hand, working from home has raised the probability that I’d see this amazing visitor. I felt honored by this chance sighting. …
The film “The Monuments Men” (2014) is based on the true story of the Allies’ furious effort to save the art treasures of Europe that were stolen by the Nazis during World War II. In addition to trying to defeat the Axis powers, the Allies had the foresight to recognize that future generations of the world would be robbed of experiencing aesthetic pleasure and inspiration from viewing famous, historical pieces of Western art in person. The Allies went as far as to assemble a team of men qualified to recognize the art treasures to verify their authenticity. …
I’d become a “seasoned amateur performer” as far as I was concerned. I came to this conclusion through almost a decade of participating in and then hosting karaoke shows. This activity had sprouted newfound confidence in me that enhanced my professional life as well as fueled my personal pursuits.
I took this bravado with me as I drove one early morning in July 2011 to Navy Pier in Chicago. I wanted to test my mettle at the cattle call auditions of “The Voice” in Chicago. …
“I couldn’t write a book to save my life!”
Yet we spin tales daily about folks
whose paths we cross that are rife
with misconceptions in broad strokes.
These narratives can often employ
urges that sway normal conduct,
like crossing the street to avoid
a Black person who’s seemingly corrupt.
Vile behaviors are predicted
solely based on skin color
as a stranger’s character is convicted
on one’s prejudice of their culture.
This mindset infests countless spaces
through unconscious bias moments
where associates flash pleasant faces
while ugly assumptions foment.
Polarized alliances may coerce
deceptive feedback that can derail
worthy progress with all…
It takes a special type of person to be a karaoke regular. Patient enough to sit through performances of random strangers. Social enough to mingle at a bar. Musical enough to keep the beat to a song. Sober enough to read the lyrics as they scroll down the screen. Strong, memorable moments can be made through repeated visits while keeping the “three laws of karaoke” in mind.
Crowds vary in the application of the “three laws” of karaoke, depending on their degree of tipsiness or rowdiness. …
Recently, I was listening to a rebroadcast of an episode of NPR’s Code Switch podcast covering “The Explanatory Comma."
In the spirit of being “meta", this term is a pause in a story narrative to explain for the mainstream audience a key cultural term or idea that is important to the episode’s topic. Since many subcultures exist in the USA and the world, any podcast which primarily covers topics of a subculture has to determine how often and to what extent to employ this tool to maintain the attention of a larger, mainstream audience. However, this pause in the pace…