A powerful, necessary, and provocative gift came into the world on January 15, 1929. Of course, at the time, no one knew it. He was a preacher’s son in Atlanta, Georgia, largely protected by his family, from the destructive power of white supremacy. He went to Morehouse College, where he realized his reading skills wereContinue reading “A Radical Transformation: Martin Luther King Day, 2022”
I can’t find one word that captures this past year. 2021 has been too much for that. I have certainly experienced anger and frustration, sadness and worry. At the same time, I have felt gratitude and love. My country is breaking with racial hatred, an intense desire for power, a disdain for knowledge, a grossContinue reading “The Year’s Last Day: Determined? Yes. Hopeful? No.”
When I rose this morning, it was so grey outside, I thought it might be snowing. But no. It’s just grey, bare, and dark. Here, in Washington, D.C., on the east coast of the United States, we are in the darkest days of the year. The Winter Solstice is only a few days away, soContinue reading “December’s Darkness”
Do not be fooled. Not for one minute. The State of Georgia’s justice system failed Ahmaud Arbery. It failed. While many of us are relieved at the guilty verdicts again the McMichaels and Bryan, those verdicts happened in spite of Georgia’s justice system, not because of it. Remember these details: It took seventy-four days forContinue reading “Georgia’s Justice System Failed”
America is broken and breaking. And, as the wisdom goes, unless we look straight at what’s broken, consider it, reflect on it, admit it, and strategize about it, we cannot change it. This reflection, and the few that will follow it, are not optimistic. Why? Because it is not time for optimism, It is timeContinue reading “America: Broken & Breaking – Part 1”
Twelve of my students amazed me last week. They didn’t surprise me, I knew they could do it. But I still wasn’t certain the plan would unfold with such beauty. For the last few years, my student-poets have built a relationship with 4th and 5th graders at Bishop Walker School in Congress Heights, Southeast, Washington,Continue reading “When Students Teach”
The beginning of a new school year always fills me with hope. What will I learn? Which students will catch fire from one of the authors we read? Whose writing will grow into clarity and beauty? After last year’s difficult and uncertain school year, I am far more hopeful about the one that begins, forContinue reading “Hope & Responsibility: Teaching Year #33”
It is hard to even find words for the suffering of LGBTQ refugees in Block 13, Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya. For more than two years, they have been attacked by local people, other refugees, even the security forces charged with protecting them. Last night, August 16, 2021, several of their shelters were set afire. Fortunately,Continue reading “LGBTQ Refugees Attacked Again in Block 13 – Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya”
Aging requires an honesty almost unknown in other stages of life. It requires an honesty comfortable with humility. Yet, few of us are comfortable with humility. The humility of aging calls for a new relationship with one’s own body, and something of a new relationship with younger people. This humility has a kind of internalContinue reading “The Humility of Aging”
I knew I needed a different kind of summer. After teaching for thirty-two years, this last year, teaching during Covid, was the most difficult of all. I knew this summer had to be different too. I realized I needed a return to a more intentional meditation practice. So, I’m taking two Breath/Meditation classes each week,Continue reading “Breathing in Summer”
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