Anti-Racism for Advent

This Advent, my husband and I are participating in Anti-Racism and Racial Reconciliation training. If this seems an odd choice, remember that my turn towards anti-racism began with the Memphis School of Servant Leadership, a religious organization. This training is offered by the Episcopal Church in Mississippi. We meet once a week for four weeks....

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A Game of Inches

It’s a game of inches. Or at least it has been for me. Other writers, they decide to write a novel and voila! It’s published before I can get my first cup of tea in the morning. My latest endeavor began in 2004. I don’t know how many inches that is in days, but I think an inchworm could have circled the globe with how long I’ve...

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What’s Your Invisible Wind?

White privilege is like riding the bike down the beach in Waveland. There’s an incline as the land rises toward Bay St. Louis, but it’s a basically easy ride. You pedal along. The Gulf is to your right, the lovely houses to your left. The temperature is okay, not beating down hot. You can feel it in your thighs, the exertion, but it’s...

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Nekkid People

This morning in church I was a lay reader for the first time in my life. You usually have to go through training or some such before they let you stand at the head of the church at the heavily-carved lectern with a microphone in front of you and read the word of God—we say that after the reading, intone it, actually: “The Word of God.”...

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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 African-American woman with glasses and short hair, because all African-Americans look alike to us white folks. Multiple...

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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 shifting mud until he hit bedrock. The house was thus anchored and then built around these beams. I keep thinking of this image as I ponder the...

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