We watched the inauguration with more than half my class at home. Those who joined me in person sat six feet apart with white masks stretched over their little noses. Curious eyes peered at the smart board. The Trump presidency is all they have known. The civility that I had expected in my childhood now novel, my students seemed to watch in wonder.
As Kamala Harris took her oath of office, I looked at my girls and remembered when I was their age, dreaming of the day I’d see a woman as president. Gratitude and pride mingled with a distinct…
It’s July of 2020 and our president has proclaimed we must learn to live with the pandemic that has claimed 130,000 American lives.
How many uniquely American problems will it take for us to admit we have a problem?
I mean, when my dad smashed a twelve pack of beer at my cousin’s wedding and flipped over the pews onto his head, we all pretty much agreed he was a disaster.
No one puffed up their chest and said he’s the greatest person ever because there’s Uncle Jimmy across the room who finally made parole after his cat murdering rampage.
Do you remember when we were the greatest nation on earth?
Fellow ’90s kids, I see you in all your jaded glory. Yeah, I’m talking to you.
I remember it like it was yesterday and I was chasing my friends on the scorching black top with tar sticking to my shoes.
We were the greatest back then, when the teachers taught us about the bravery of our forefathers
When we were the heroes who swooped in to all the oppressive regimes and all the wars and defeated the evil villains trying to take over the world.
When in Sunday school…
Writing has always been a deeply personal endeavor for me. Long before I ever considered writing for an audience, I wrote for myself. I wrote because I must.
Locked away in my room through tumultuous junior high days, I curled up on my $2.00 yard sale recliner, prayed to the ancient computer gods my tower would blink to life, and utterly lost myself in the white of the page.
I never wrote about myself. Couldn’t touch a diary. But I lived in the spaces of my writing. …
I learned about racism for the first time at six years old when my teacher taught us about slavery.
That night I followed my mom around at the video store sobbing and asking why God would make me born white. So much pain filled me for the suffering of those America had enslaved. And my skin looked like the bad guy’s skin.
I didn’t want to be bad.
At school the next day, fear hit me. What if I was a racist? I looked at my crush and it dawned on me that he was black. Relief filled me. …
Market trends are refreshing in that readers are demanding diverse casts of characters and novels that empower, rather than simply shock or thrill. The publishing industry must understand this increase in demand is not simply a trend to hop on board, but a demand for change at every level of society that will persevere.
That means we have work to do, white writers. Long overdue work. We can’t write stories with token characters and pat ourselves on the back for our wokeness. We also can’t co-opt the stories and voice of people whose beautiful culture and unique struggles we don’t…