It’s Not Anyone’s Fault Our Jails are Racist

The exploitation of Black Americans in my lifetime shows itself as mass incarceration. Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not calling those working in the judicial system racist. I don’t blame the white woman who confused my Black friend for a purse … Continue reading

Don’t Fall for the Ewing Effect

Cast your mind back to 1982. The time is the NCAA Basketball Championship. The game pits the Georgetown Hoyas, coached by the brilliant John Thompson, against Dean Smith’s Carolina Tar Heels. The Hoyas’ star is the new phenom center Patrick … Continue reading

Small Things I Do FWIW

I shop at the Family Dollar or Dollar Tree or the downtown Walgreens rather than the ritzy Walgreens because one does not have to exercise class privilege just because one has it. I choose to place myself in situations where … Continue reading

How to be a Winner in the New Normal

I’ve never been with a winner. Well, except that streak when the North Carolina Tar Heels won the NCAA Basketball tournament and the St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series and Peyton Manning and the Colts won the Super Bowl. … Continue reading

We Can Fix Police Shootings

Those cities in the US experiencing dramatic declines in police shootings, how did they do it? Did they round up the citizenry and instruct them on the proper way to react during a police encounter (“Nope, nope, nope—hands on the … Continue reading

How to Fail at the Race Talk

I failed at the conference for racial justice this weekend. I gave racially tinged advice to a perfectly innocent question that had no race element to it. I mistook one African-American woman with glasses and short hair for a different … Continue reading

A 4th Moment in Mississippi

In the assemble hall at Power Elementary School once a week we’d gather for sing-alongs. Our wooden chairs had squeaky black-hinged seats that flipped up when not in use. Sit too far back and, if you were a skinny, skinny … Continue reading

An Outside Plant

He had one plant, small. I had three hanging baskets and two big ferns, fat. He’d been there when I arrived, he and his wife wandering among the plants. It was mid-day Wednesday, no one else at the nursery. A … Continue reading

Targeting LGBT Discrimination in the South

I went to junior high and high school in Charlotte, North Carolina. Charlotte was the home I returned to in college and law school. When my daddy died, I sang over his grave: “I’m a Tar Heel born, I’m a … Continue reading

Black Lives Matter More Than Fear

I’m thinking about #Black Lives Matter and my surprise at the backlash against it. #Black Lives Matter began in 2013 after George Zimmerman was acquitted in Florida for murdering Trayvon Martin. Coined by Alicia Garza, the phrase has grown to encompass … Continue reading

THAT’s Creativity?

Creativity is the glue that holds my life together. This week in my creative life, I: re-explored Facebook’s Notes feature published a long, involved blog post put together a new outfit that I liked so much I wore it two … Continue reading

What Can I Do: Part 4 (or just one more)

Do you call those without housing “the homeless”? Do you talk about “entitlements”? When someone commits a crime, do you respond with “thugs”? James Deke Pope, who has served on the Community Advisory Board of Memphis’s Africa in April, suggests … Continue reading

What Can I Do-Part 3 (and probably last)

I thought I’d be shot. Dean Andy Andrews announced that, following the Wednesday morning service, he would be walking the neighborhood around St. Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral. He invited us to join him. I attended the Wednesday service, but I believed … Continue reading

“Yes, I Mind!”

So, here’s a story, one of my favorite from my young adult years. My sister went to visit her husband’s constitutional law class. The class is full of first year law students at a prestigious law school. Big bombastic law … Continue reading

What Can I Do—the Bree Model

She had a crisis of faith. But so much went before that. Her work, her reading, her awareness. Her travel, her commitment, her participation. Her use of her talent. Her love of God. In her statement following her direct nonviolent … Continue reading

What Can I Do?

I’m starting a new series here. I’m announcing this new series so you can skip over my followup posts if you want, ’cause I’m a polite Southern woman, and I sure don’t want to impose. But some of you want … Continue reading

First, There is Racism

When my husband and I built our house at Pickwick Lake, we built it into the high bluffs that circle the lake. In order for this to work, the architect had to take steel beams and drive them through the … Continue reading

Taking It Up a Notch

Finished. Yeah, right. Anyway, I’ve finished reading The Bone Trench out loud. That took nine days. This weekend, I reworked a query letter and wrote a new synopsis, one page. These two documents have now been sent to my paid … Continue reading