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How the Word is Passed (with apologies to Clint Smith)

I’m intentional about it with my grandsons. I take every damn opportunity to repeat what my grandparents said to me. Even if it’s a simple, “Show me your money bags!” as I studied a lizard with an obvious pouch beneath her chin. My two grandsons halted beside me on the front porch. “What are you doing?”...

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Respect-Centered Reparations

My last blog post talked about the shift in direction my reparations journey needs to take. That post introduced the impetus for the change. This blog post talks about what it might mean to shift from white-centered reparations to respect-centered reparations. Reparations: Story I Here’s a story: my Bigmama’s grandfather fought...

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White-Centered Me

I’ve been attending lots of Zoom meetings on racism along my reparations journey. It’s got me listening to myself. What do I hear? Me. Little ol’ white-centered me. I used to talk about the ways my family was on the right side of history. “My grandfather refused to join the White Citizens Council.” “My great-grandfather...

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Family Hero Stories

If you are white and committed to racial justice, be prepared to give up what you are most proud of. I’m talking about your family hero stories. Your proud family—or personal—accomplishments. Look underneath those stories, and you might find harm done. What’s the Rest of your Family Story? Let me go first. Long as I remember,...

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Creating a New Orleans Courtyard

When we bought our house, my husband wanted a New Orleans courtyard. What we had was a small, grassy square with a deck. It was COVID when we bought the house. Then the contractor was kinda sloooow. So it was only last summer—a year after buying the house—that we began creating a New Orleans courtyard. I want to share its stages with y’all....

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Writing Poetry Against My Will

I don’t write poetry, y’all. But a delightful writing group I’m a member of contains a wonderful and amazing poet. Her writing prompt this month was, “We’re gonna write some poetry.” Wait. Say, what? But I am nothing if not compliant. Usually that applies to medical instructions, PT exercises, and spiritual...

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Six Month Literary Assessment

I made a resolution at the first of the year. What was the resolution? To hold book conversations. Specifically, “I’ve decided that, with the enjoyment the books have given me, I owe the authors to get the word out on their work.” Let’s look at my six month literary assessment. So far this year, I’ve done 10 blog posts...

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Opening Our Literary Eyes

I fancy myself embedded in a new strata of American history. That strata is white people gaining awareness of how whiteness shapes society. It’s a stupid conceit. White Americans have always known institutions were shaped for them. We only momentarily “forgot” for the years from, oh, 1972 to 2008. In our forgetting years, we told...

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Writing in Troubling Times: Join Us!

Thursday @ 6:30 in a ZOOM conversation about writing in troubling times Register now for what promises to be a great Zoom conversation about writing in troubling times. Jarvis knows what he’s talking about—he wrote for the Times-Pic newspaper during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. His Pulitzer Prize-winning columns are searing,...

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