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Black is Good

President Obama with family election nightBlack folks live with their hearts. Wide open. Big. On their sleeves. Bleeding. For everything black. Everything. Black. Is Good.

 

 

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The First Time

MLK, Jr. speaking.In December 1955 an overworked black woman from Tuskegee, Alabama sat down in a place on a Montgomery bus that was not her place. Or so she'd been told. She was arrested and jailed. She'd broken a law, albeit unjust. That was a first for her.

Not long afterward, a black preacher from Georgia helped in the effort to boycott the Montgomery bus system for their unjust law. He was young and energetic. And also new, with strange new ideas. He stood up and said strange things. He helped others stand up. It was a first for him. He had a dream.
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Reading While Black

woman readingAuthor and journalist Carleen Brice did something unusual. The activist/author of Orange Mint and Honey started a blog, WelcomeWhiteFolks.blogspot.com , and declared December to be National Buy a Book by a Black Author and Give it to Somebody Not Black Month.

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Thankful for Change

big birdThis past Sunday morning was like any other Sunday morning in my church except for one thing. When our pastor gathered the children around him for a quick chat before sending them off to children's church, he asked a simple question: What are you thankful for?

Like eager little brown cherubim they all chimed in. They were thankful for homes to live in, food to eat, beds to sleep in. And one little boy said he was thankful for his mother. I smiled, recognizing that tiny voice as one of the voices I hear every night during bedtime prayer.
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Holding Onto Hope

holding hope usa flagI look at the pictures of the American political scene from the past 18 months and I can't help but think back on my rural childhood, spent by and large in books, encyclopedias, and old magazines.

My politics were shaped by those black and white images. Jackie O holding little John, snuggling him close like a mother should. Malcolm chatting casually with Martin. And of course, the throngs following Martin's struggle for change, giving their lives, sacrificing their hopes and dreams for his American dream.
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Sitting at the Table of Equality

Broken PlateIt can be said that at the heart of any type of reconciliation is justice, and at the heart of poverty is injustice. When we talk of justice, we talk about the rightness of a thing. Is a certain thing ethical? Is it fair? Is it equitable?

Many times it is a person's preconceived notions that shapes their sense of rightness or justice. Our personal notions or prejudices about the poor and poverty in America have been shaped by what we have experienced or not experienced. So it is our family, friends, education (or lack thereof), vocation, and everything in between that has formed our eye or lens for poverty and the poor.
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Confused and Purple?

I'm a little confused. It seems like there are two different messages coming from a certain American political party.

Last night I listened to a speech on TV. The speaker, a nice-looking energetic knowledgeable working mom in her 40s (not unlike myself), said that she was all for the people, not big government handling things for the people. 
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David Duke for Obama

Okay, I have to confess, my imagination runs wild sometimes. Maybe it's the writer in me or just being southern. Whatever the case, when I read this headline below, I had images of David Duke, former Ku Klux Klan member, leading several white nationalist (aka Klansmen, skin heads, etc) to the polls, participating in Obama rallies, putting the Obama campaign 'O' on their Web sites ...

White Supremacists See Hope In Obama Win

Hey why not. What better way to boost membership and 'jar whites into action' than fanning the flames of the democratic machine? 

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Confessions and Traps

When Dr. King died, I was still in diapers. Ford’s new muscle car, the Mustang, was brand new but the civil rights struggle was not.

I imagine that my parents and paternal grandmother, who played a huge role in my early development, tried to keep the turmoil of the times away from me as a toddled around the bare wood floors of that old clapboard house in Cherry, North Carolina.

But I think some things filtered in and became part of my virtual racial DNA, that part of me that needs to know about the whats, whens, and whys of the racial struggles of those times. That part that needs to make connections and reconcile (or at least, placate my conscience that we believers are striving for answers).

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Get Back, Black

"If you're black, get back.
If you're brown, get down.
If you're yellow, you're mellow.
If you're white, you're right."


Those are the words of a little jingle I learned when I was young. I shared it with a white Alabama woman, maybe ten years younger than me, and her jaw dropped. She'd never heard the ditty and she was appalled. One, that she as a product of the Deep South, had never heard the tune. And two, that there was such a tune.
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