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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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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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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