When the Stories I Tell are Racist

Hi, y’all. There’s a video making the rounds. It’s a clip of a teacher using a racist dramatization to imprint a math concept on her students. The whole thing was so strange that I researched it, unable to believe the teacher created this out of whole cloth. I was right. Not only do sites recommend using the mnemonic to remember...

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A Different Way to Write Book Club Questions

I am nearing the end of my Beta reader feedback on In the Name of Mississippi. Thus, in complete blind faith that I will find an agent for this manuscript and, unlike my last three agents, they will sell this novel about a groundbreaking civil rights lawsuit, I’m moving on to the next step. In the Name of Mississippi is contemporary fiction,...

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It’s Happening Again

History happens in slow motion. We look back in time, and see events compressed into clearly demarcated eras. But in real time, history unfolds like the proverbial (and false) frog boiling in the pot: so slow you almost don’t notice. I’m not talking about frogs. I’m talking racism (again–why can’t I confine myself...

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Evil Doers in the Family

So we prayed Psalm 34:15-22 at church this morning, the second verse of which is: “the face of the Lord is against those who do evil,*to root out the remembrance of them from the earth.”Psalm 34:16 I read that and into my brain popped the thought, That’s the statue removal. Confederate statues, my brain meant. *** As...

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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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Get Ready: It’s WTF Time, Y’all

I want to tell you a story. The characters in this story came from many lands, but eventually their view of themselves sorted around one fact: they did not come from Africa. Or China…or anywhere “that just doesn’t look white.” I’m a character in this story, the starring role, in fact. Fair warning: I’m not the hero. The Story Once...

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Wiping the Slate Clean

You know when you’ve solved a complex calculus equation, and you take the eraser and literally wipe the slate clean? I did that last week with my writing career. Three acceptances triggered the erasure: First, I was accepted into the Community Writers Workshop in the Virtual Valley for July of this year. This fabulous writers conference...

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So You Love that Racist Movie?

Scene I Y’all, Gone with the Wind was my first grown-up movie (that means my first movie that wasn’t a Saturday morning matinee where my friends and I ran up and own the aisles acting like fools). We went at night, my mother and two sisters and I. Watching this movie I learned a very important plot point. During the burning of Atlanta,...

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