White Privilege as Spiritual Discipline: When

When I wrote about examining white privilege as a spiritual discipline, I had no idea how unoriginal it was. Turns out, Episcopalians, Lutherans, Adventists, Unitarian Universalists, United Church of Christ, Mennonites, Presbyterians, Baptists, and Methodists–all acknowledge examining white privilege as a spiritual discipline. Apparently,...

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Our Different Realities

On this Martin Luther King Day, I acknowledge a truth. The years of us white folks embedding racism in American society has warped our perception. We whites see different realities from Black folk, every day, day-by-day. If I’m inside the white community, I experience life in America differently than those who aren’t. How Different...

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White Privilege as Spiritual Discipline

White people hate the term “white privilege.” Why? Because life is hard for all of us. “Privilege” implies ease, and our lives have not, in fact, been easy. Also, as Americans, we value rugged individualism. Only those who made their own way in the world count as successful. No silver spoons for us, thank you very much. You...

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New Cowboy Boots: A Conversation

Suddenly, I was overwhelmed with the need to buy a pair of new cowboy boots. Every Christmas when I was a little girl, we got a new pair of boots. In lucky years, we got the whole nine yards: turquoise jeans, snap shirt, belt, hat, and the boots. My beloved husband agreed to wedge this shopping trip into an already complicated, whirlwind trip...

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Everett’s The Trees

Percival Everett’s The TREES is the most sarcastic, gut-punchingly funny novel about the Emmett Till lynching. As I type that sentence, I think, What the hell? In the apt words of one of the characters from The Trees, it is, “A sentence I never imagined myself saying.” Very on-brand that this book, which short-listed for the Booker...

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The Grace of Leaves

This afternoon, I swept the front porch. Air too soft for December swirled around my ankles. “The leaves keep falling!” called the across-the-street neighbor who I can’t figure out when he chooses to speak, or not. “Yes,” I responded. “We don’t have a tree on our property, but we’ve got leaves.” Too...

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By Hands Now Known

I have been reading about my American South’s racial violence for over twenty years, and yet, “By Hands Now Known,” caused me to go get a rosary to hold while reading. The full name of the book is a clue to its unsettling nature: “By Hands Now Known: Jim Crow’s Legal Executioners.” Margaret A. Burnham’s...

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You’re Swimming Streamline

The guests are gone, the washing begun. A wind arrived and blew slashing rain down the streets. The palms shook their heads like Peanuts characters dancing to Linus’s piano. Then the storm, too, passed. Water filled the potholes; for the sake of your suspension, beware the unseen. I, who made no food for Thanksgiving, baked cookies...

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