This is heartbreak. This is sorrow. This is fury. Today is May 13, 2022 and sometime in the next day or so, the United States will record one million lives lost to Covid-19. Scientists agree that the true death count is far greater. But this is the official number, the total of reported deaths causedContinue reading “One Million Lives Lost”
Poetry books work in different ways. Some teach, some inspire, some surprise, some provoke. Saida Agostina’s collection, let the dead in, reminds me. It reminds me to remember the richness of living, the beauty of love in places we don’t expect. This beautiful collection of poems is a tap on the shoulder, followed by thisContinue reading “If You Love the Living, Get Saida Agostini’s “let the dead in””
When Trayvon Martin, a 17 year-old Black child, was murdered in Sanford, Florida, I was teaching at Carroll High School in Washington, D.C. I taught in the English Department and directed the school’s Writing Center. That year, I was teaching nearly all seniors. Carroll High School was more than 90% Black and those students taughtContinue reading “Trayvon Martin’s Murder Changed Everything”
It’s hard to imagine what it’s like for my friend, Deo, to keep watch through the night in Block 13 of Kakuma Refugee Camp. The night is dark. The sky is salted with stars, maybe a moon offers some light. Maybe he sits in complete darkness. I am sure he listens and watches. Hoping forContinue reading “Keeping Watch: Refugees Guard Refugees in Block 13 Kakuma Camp, Kenya”
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”
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