Three Books and a Play

I write book reviews with trepidation. Even if I intend to be laudatory, what if it doesn’t hit the author that way? That’s important because the only reviews I write are of books I enjoyed. I figure the world is harsh enough without posting negative reviews (though I have been known to occasionally rant on Goodreads.) Last year I decided...

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The Great Food Debate

And so it begins, the great food debate. Mashed potatoes or no? Naked green beans or green bean casserole? Mac-n-cheese and, if so, what kind? (I’m not gonna give ink to the dressing or stuffing debate ’cause stuffing isn’t a real food–it’s a cut up mattress found in an abandoned warehouse sprinkled with some Cavender’s.)...

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Safe Space, An Error

We sat around the table at Caritas Village. The time was the early 2010s, the place Memphis. We were in the back room behind the grey folding partition conducting our Memphis School for Servant Leadership Board meeting. We were probably eating chips or brownies or other snacks Board members brought for meetings. As the Board chair reviewed the Parker...

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Veterans Day

We went to our Memphis grandson’s Grandparent’s Day. As part of the program, they sang each of the songs of the branches of the military. The emcee (yes, the program had an emcee) asked us as members of the audience to stand up when we had a relative in that branch of the service. I could have stood for each branch except for the Coast...

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Rain in NOLA

I zip my pink raincoat up to my chin. Flip on the hood and head out. Rain falls. So common to New Orleans, but missing in action for weeks then months. We’ve had beautiful fall weather, but we glanced at the sky, wary of the dry clouds. At my feet, rain dimples puddles. The toes of my tennis shoes disappear in the runoff. I turn left onto...

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Lynching On the Courthouse Lawn

It’s a hard topic to write about, lynching. This stream of violence running through the middle of American history like the great Mississippi flowing down the center of our county is hard to face. But Sherrilyn A. Ifill uses an apt phrase in the introduction to her book, On the Courthouse Lawn: Confronting the Legacy of Lynching in the 21st...

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Let the Glider Glide

In the last 10 days, I’ve joined a new Bible study and registered for an intense Coming to the Table workshop. I’ve gained groundbreaking revelations in the continuing attempt to make IN THE NAME OF MISSISSIPPI publishable. In two of those days, I wrote an article for the Mississippi Episcopal Diocese newsletter and a funny, poignant...

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The Sentences that Create Us

Reading The Sentences that Create Us raises a question: how do we handle the adjectives that are appended to descriptions of writers? “Southern” writer. “African American” writer. The adjectives often encapsulate the heart of the writing. But they can also carry an implied—and often condescending—”only” (She is...

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