Everybody Can Serve: MLK Day 2021

Dr. King understood one of Christianity’s most obvious and challenging convictions: the call to serve. In a world where greatness is usually marked by power, influence, and money, Dr. King knew greatness comes from serving others. In fact, one who really takes the call to serve seriously, doesn’t get concerned with greatness at all. OnContinue reading “Everybody Can Serve: MLK Day 2021”

The Empathy School: The Bridge

This is the first in an occasional series about empathy that will be posted here throughout the first half of 2021. Several guest poets and writers will add their ideas on empathy as the series unfolds. I have a distinct memory of my mother teaching me empathy without saying the word. I was probably aboutContinue reading “The Empathy School: The Bridge”

2021: Only Better If We Make It So

My American Literature students are struck my many of Dr. King’s ideas in “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” But one almost always gets their attention. It’s his reflection on the neutrality of time. In one part of the “Letter,” Dr. King remembers a white person writing to him, telling him it’s clear that Black people willContinue reading “2021: Only Better If We Make It So”

A Surprising Darkness

We are living through dark days. Not just the darkest days of the calendar year, but deeply, truly, humanly, these are dark days. The calendar tells us the days will get darker until the Winter Solstice on December twenty-first. So the days between today, December thirteenth, and the twenty-first, will get increasingly darker. The darkestContinue reading “A Surprising Darkness”

2020 Robert L. Giron Global Humanities Lecture: Literature Consoles & Confronts

2020 Robert L. Giron Global Humanities LectureMontgomery College, Takoma Park, Maryland Literature Consoles & Confronts:Poetry Making a Way for JusticeA reading from Raising King Joseph RossNovember 18, 2020 I am very happy to join you today. I want to thanks Professors Cinder Cooper Barnes and Carol Moore for their kind invitation. I am also gratefulContinue reading “2020 Robert L. Giron Global Humanities Lecture: Literature Consoles & Confronts”

Chaos or Community?

The election is over and the United States will, I think, have a new president. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris earned roughly 75 million votes and the Trump/Pence ticket earned 70 million. More people voted than ever and the Biden/Harris ticket received more votes than any president and vice-president in U.S. history. it is timeContinue reading “Chaos or Community?”

#BadBall. Trust, Commitment, Love

by Jimmy Friday I am a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and was a student-athlete on the football team for four seasons, from 1995 until 1999. Two of those seasons, Lou Holtz was the head coach. In January of 1995, Lou Holtz came to my home and gave a speech about Trust, Commitment,Continue reading “#BadBall. Trust, Commitment, Love”

Teaching Year 32: Literature Consoles & Confronts

I can still see him sitting to one side of the classroom after his friends made their way out to lunch. His American Literature Anthology was still open to the last page of Frederick Douglass’ speech, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” He leaned forward, looking like he was going to cry.Continue reading “Teaching Year 32: Literature Consoles & Confronts”