Behind Closed Doors

It was overcast and rainy today.  So we stayed in like you do.  With even a couple of times venturing outside, things still got a little wacky today.  Folks were grumpy.  I might have overreacted to spilled water.  The dog barked way too much at the cat outside and anytime someone made a sudden move.  Folks couldn’t get along about what movie to watch or game to play and they couldn’t work together to get chores done.  Or respond to requests for action the first three times they were asked.  They We all got cranky.

Not our best day.

I blame it on being stir crazy.

That’s a thing, right?  When I worked in childcare, and we had days or weeks of inclement weather, we talked about the children (and others *ahem*) being stir crazy.  One summer when the temperature reached so high it was too hot for us to play outside, I remember Mama sending us outside in the dark after our baths to run around in our nightgowns just to burn some energy off.  Now I know that was as much for her as it was for us.

Last night I wrote about a man who was so thankful that because of his job he could afford to turn on the cable, so his children could stay indoors and be safe.  He lives in a neighborhood where it isn’t safe for them to be outside.  I cannot imagine what that life is like, y’all.

Today, in the middle of all of our crankiness, I sat with that for a bit.  If these children are staying inside as much as possible to protect them from violence and being susceptible to drugs and gang activity and worse, other bad things can happen.  Things that aren’t as immediately harmful, but the long-term effects could be devastating.

These children are more susceptible to obesity because they can’t get out and run around.  Sitting inside is necessary for survival, but their little feet need to run free as do their spirits.   When I think about the joy it brings me watching Cooter’s hair flying behind him as he rides his bike up and down the street, I grieve for these parents and children who cannot experience that.   For the ones in school, I cannot imagine that the limited amount of time spent in PE could completely satisfy their need to run around.  Limited physical activity combined with limited budget for purchasing healthy foods can contribute to even more health problems.  Many of these neighborhoods are food deserts as well, with few choices for shopping for foods other than snacks or highly processed foods.

My front porch is a “laboratory.”  Many of the children on our street come and pick leaves and grass and flower blossoms and concoct all sorts of things.  Later they might be running around with pool noodles, using them for goodness only knows, and running around between yards, laughing and chasing and teasing and hiding, and doing all the wonderful things their imaginations come up with.  (They also have disagreements, which they have to resolve among themselves for the most part, and that is really good for them too.)

This little neighborhood is where my children are learning about community.  About sharing each other’s ups and downs and sitting with each other when they are hurting…..physically and emotionally.  I am not saying that these children who are inside all day aren’t learning about community, but I worry about what they are learning about it.  I hope there is a community center or somewhere they can get out and learn that people really do care and that there is joy to be found in caring about others and sharing the journey.

Because, if today is any indication, what happens behind closed doors can escalate fast.  I cannot imagine what it is like for these parents who are working multiple jobs, fighting to pay bills and stay afloat, worrying over keeping their littles–and their teens–safe and in school.  I can only imagine the pressure they must feel.  Perhaps they are fighting monsters of their own.  And then they are stuck in this place with few choices, where their community is not safe.

Without community to support them or options to explore, things can turn for the worse.  People who feel that they have no options or anyone to turn to–I get how frustrating and devastating that can be.  All of that has to go somewhere.  All too often it goes to substance abuse or abuse to others.

I’m not saying these families are doomed.  What I am saying is that I am starting to realize how far-reaching the impact of growing up in unsafe neighborhoods can be.  It can affect everything from nutrition and health to social skills to self-esteem, focus, and the ability to dream about the future.  Imaginations can suffer, as can relationships.  Parents who are struggling and have no support can succumb to the darkness.  The youth without anywhere to go might look for any way out–even the one they know is not the wisest choice.  Many might find themselves in situations outside the law–our Youth Detention Centers and prisons are filled with people who made poor choices in desperate situations.  My own friend grew up in a home without many choices, which contributed to his addiction problems as he tried to numb the pain.  He has been in and out of jails and rehab facilities.  All because at one point as a young person, he felt he was out of choices.

I am broken because tonight, as I wrote this, I was waiting to hear about the appeals that were in the U.S. Supreme Court to save the life of Joshua Bishop by giving him a stay of execution.  He was abused and neglected as a child, and when he was barely a legal adult, he and an older man murdered a friend with whom they’d been drinking and doing drugs.  The older man was sentenced to life in prison.  This young man was given the death sentence.  He is reformed and has been a good role model for others while in prison.  The families of the victims have asked that his sentence be commuted.  Seven out of the twelve jurors who sentenced him to death have asked for the sentence to be changed to life in prison.  Yet the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles has said no, as did the Georgia Supreme Court.  And then, so did SCOTUS.  And so, tonight at 9:27 p.m. he was executed.

It’s all so broken.  I want to scream and yell–WHY DID THIS HAPPEN?!

I am left to wonder, as I ask for Grace and Mercy, what part his community or lack thereof played in all of this?

Tonight I’m holding all of this in my heart, and I ask what we–because it will take all of us as a COMMUNITY–can do to change things for these families, for these neighborhoods?  What are we missing out on because one of these children–and there are so many of them–didn’t reach his or her full potential because of the broken community they were raised in?   Because their community was unable to circle close around and provide guidance and safety and encouragement and rules and advice and resources and options…..

all the things I was raised with but took for granted every single day.

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Y’all we need to grab these children and families up and wrap them in a big hug and then ask them how we can help them change their world as best as we are able in whatever way looks best for them. Because here’s the deal–their world is our world and our world is theirs.  There’s no us and them–it’s all we and us.  In the words of Fannie Lou Hamer:  “Nobody’s free until everybody’s free.”

I’ll meet y’all outside.  Let’s make it safe for all, so no one has to be afraid behind a locked door.  And miss out when the good things come knocking at that door.

Love to all.

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You can read more about Joshua Bishop’s case here.

This video is a powerful one, a message from a local Superior Court judge to young people.  YES.  I am thankful for her words and the fact that she cares.

http://www.13wmaz.com/news/local/macon/watch-bibb-county-judge-lays-in-on-wayward-teens/112000603

 

 

 

 

When Cable is a Necessity

I happened upon a Steve Harvey video on YouTube that was more serious than most I’d seen of his.  (Yes, watching those have become a sanity-feeding thing.  I don’t question it if it works.) I watched it, and the title said it all–“You Can’t Watch This Without Getting Emotional.”

Absolutely right.  I got emotional.

And I stood corrected.

Over the years I’ve worked with people from many different socioeconomic statuses.  I’ve heard all kinds of opinions expressed and judgments made.  To be perfectly honest, I’ve made some myself over the years, and while I try to keep them to myself, I’m still guilty.  And I’m sorry for that.

Over the years I’ve heard folks who have enough judge folks who maybe don’t for the choices they make in how they spend their money.  Interesting that having enough keeps folks from doing that about you, but when you don’t, suddenly it’s everyone’s business how you spend the little you have.

In this video, the Dad, who had recently finished his prison term and was trying to turn his life around, talked about having a job, and how now he could afford to turn the cable on.  Now he and his children could sit together and watch TV so they’d stay inside, instead of wanting to play outside.  Outside, where their lives could be at risk.

See, this man and his family live in a rough neighborhood, and they can’t afford to get out.

So they watch TV together.  As a family.  And they stay inside, trying to be safe.

Y’all.

All these years, I’ve told my children that watching TV is a privilege, and I dole it out sparingly.  I’ll send them outside in a heartbeat.  “Y’all put that down and go outside.  Now!”  I’ve said that more times than I care to count.

After watching this video, I’m humbled.  I’m humbled about all the times I’ve wondered about people’s choices and what their priorities are.  I HAVE NO IDEA what life is like for folks who live in fear of their children being outside.  None at all.

All these years, I thought satellite TV or cable was a huge privilege, since we grew up without it (or a color TV, but that’s another story).  Turns out, that for far too many families in our very own country, in our very own communities, the thing I grew up taking for granted, the thing my children get to do almost any time they want, is a HUGE privilege.  Something almost unattainable.

So cable becomes a necessity of sorts.

Oh my stars, how have we let our world get to this point?

Tonight my heart is heavy and filled with awe and thanks.  There but for the Grace…..go I.

And with that heaviness comes the realization that I can’t sit back and let this be okay.

Our children shouldn’t have to sit inside and be captives in their own homes, in their own neighborhoods.

And make no mistake, these are OUR children.  They will grow up to be in community with the ones we are raising in our own homes, and they will need to work together to fix so many messes.  Isn’t it up to us to give them a leg up by starting to do what we can now?

I have no answers.  But if you do, please share.

Thanks for thinking on this with me.  In the meantime, please join me in holding these families and neighborhoods where violence is the norm in your heart and in the Light.

Love to all.

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This is the video I watched on YouTube.

don’t let them

don’t let them
tell you the stars aren’t really
diamonds
twinkling just for you
waiting to adorn your dreams
while you slumber
where you live out all your heart’s desires

don’t let them
tell you it’s silly to
guard your heart so carefully
or to love him so completely

don’t let them
convince you life isn’t hard
and that the world
isn’t broken

it is

but you in your diamonds
bringing life to your big dreams
holding the hand of the one
your heart calls home
giving from the beauty and kindness
that flows through your soul

you
will
change
it
all

 

Big_Dipper_Ursa_Major_over_Old_Faithful_geyser_Yellowstone_National_Park_Wyoming_Astrophotography

“Big Dipper Ursa Major over Old Faithful geyser Yellowstone National Park Wyoming Astrophotography” by Astroval1 – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Big_Dipper_Ursa_Major_over_Old_Faithful_geyser_Yellowstone_National_Park_Wyoming_Astrophotography.jpg#/media/File:Big_Dipper_Ursa_Major_over_Old_Faithful_geyser_Yellowstone_National_Park_Wyoming_Astrophotography.jpg

Answering the Hard Question

This evening I sat with two young people and a retired friend as we listened to an amazing woman share about the hard work–the good work–she is doing to help women and men who are in the human trafficking industry.  It was a very eye opening and hard discussion.  It is heart breaking, and despite what we might have previously thought, it is very much happening right here in our community.  Not just Atlanta, or even Macon. Right here.

All the brokenness.

As we listened, the young man who sat next to the speaker looked at her with his eyes wide.  He asked, fumbling at first to find the right words, in a quiet voice, “Is there, I mean, is anyone–I mean surely–is anyone doing anything to stop this from happening at all?  How can we stop it?  What are people doing to make this better?”

Bless him.

He is not even a legal adult yet.  He is hearing about heartbreak and brokenness and darkness that has been going on since before he was born, and it was as though for the first time, he felt the weight of what is before him–and all of his generation–that needs to be fixed and made better.

Bless him.  Bless all of them.

They are looking at those of us who are of my generation, most likely, wondering why we let it get this bad.  Why the human trafficking industry is the fastest growing one, right behind drug trafficking.  They are asking us, “What have you done to make this better?”

Many will say they didn’t know. They weren’t aware. That they didn’t realize it was happening here in our country, our community.  Many see it as a foreign issue, happening only in countries far, far away.

As I heard the stories tonight, any misconceptions like that were shattered and blown away.

I can never say again I didn’t know.  And now that I know, I have a duty to answer this young man’s question–

What am I doing to stop this?

I have a lot of thinking to do about what I heard tonight.  And about the look on that sweet soul’s face, his puzzled pain over what he was hearing.  It’s wrong, and if we stand by and do nothing, it will continue to grow.  That one thing is certain.

Will you join me in thinking on this, and working on the answer to “What are people doing to make this better?”

For more information, you can visit http://outofdarkness.org

Love, much love, to all.

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via slideshare.net

The Change

“But, if I change it…..it could be upsetting to some people.  I don’t want to be remembered as the one who changed everything and messed it all up.”

Oh my heart.  When I heard this bright and vibrant, creative, and smart young woman say these words a few days ago, it hurt my heart.

Which probably is surprising to those who know me well.

I’m all about traditions.  It’s kind of my thing.

Change not so much.

My Daddy used to say be careful of doing something around me–if I liked it, it would become tradition, and then there was no getting out of it.

He was pretty much right.  I love the traditions of watching the Macy’s parade all the way through Santa waving, our Easter Egg and Turkey Egg Hunts each year, and doing things the same year after year in honor of the way it’s always been done.

However, and I’m pretty sure I can remember my Mama saying this, “Just because it’s always been done a certain way doesn’t mean it always should be done that way.”

In other words, the world needs change.

From time to time anyway.

I think about how things would be very, very different in our world if no one ever looked at changing anything.  I mean, all of the best inventions and ideas came from folks thinking of how to change something…..for the better.

Yes.  I just said that.

I love traditions.  I love the old ways of doing things sometimes.  But you also won’t see me out washing our clothes “by the crick” or on a washboard.  Neither will you see me sit down and longhand all of the stories I want to leave behind.  Or do my own butchering or bathe just on Saturday nights.

Some changes are really, really good.  Like cars and airplanes and cancer research centers and museums and new ways to eat healthy.  Or learning how to educate children with learning barriers.  Or how to help people who have lost limbs walk again.  Or opening doors to people which have always been closed before.  Or loving others who were thought unlovable.

Change can do wonderful things.

And yes, I said that too.

So, my young friend, think it through and make your changes.  Some will be well received, some not so much.  Some will work well, and some might not.  But the thinking and dreaming and trying to change things–those are so important for us all to grow and learn and become better and better.

May we all be able to open our hearts to dreaming and changing what we can.  What do you feel like changing?  May you find the courage and strength to make it so.

Love to all.

gravity

Looking down at my feet, I ponder about how truly amazing gravity is.
It’s like this force, pulling us close, holding us there, much like one in love with another–
that feeling where you never want to let go.

The earth is in love with us. Yes.
The birds and the waves sing her love songs.
The sun, moon, and stars light up her delighted countenance.
She gives us flowers and gifts and feeds us all.
She gives us her everything, down to her very core.
Never wanting to let us go, she holds on tight to all of creation…..

we are loved.

But I worry about what will happen when she figures out what we’ve been doing,
how we’ve really been treating her behind her back,

and when, like a lover scorned, will she fling us far and wide
wanting nothing more than to be rid of us

the ones who have taken her heart, mistreated her, and
walked away, leaving a path of destruction in our wake…..

I think it’s time we give her flowers or trees
and the love and attention she deserves,
saying “I’m sorry”
as she continues to keep us safe and hold us close
despite ourselves

another day, another trip around the sun
she’s still holding on, hoping…..knowing we can do better by her

she’s right

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the discernible path

of all the things
I want to be remembered for
as the stories of who I was
and how I lived
and what I cooked
and how I raised my people
are told long after I am gone

the one thing I don’t want to be
remembered as
is a silent witness

I come from
people who lived
and loved
and cooked
and farmed
and built
and wrote
and painted
and created
and noticed
and told stories
and played
and worked
and laughed
and comforted
and left footsteps worthy of following

but not a one of them
was a silent witness
of what they saw and heard

they stood up for what was right
and refused to be a part of what was not

and now as I whirl and spin
sometimes lost
seeking the way I should go

though it has been years
and the wind has come
and storms have ravaged
and the sun has beat down unmercifully
upon their dusty path

the imprint they left
is still discernible

and so I go forth
trying to live as they did
not silent
never silent

speaking
out
standing
strong
bending
but not breaking
as I continue
along the way

Michael Dibb [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Michael Dibb [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

fighting fire with fire

My hero and friend, Hugh Hollowell, shared this on his Facebook page yesterday. It troubles, motivates, moves me. And scares the mess out of me, to be perfectly honest. I’m still wrapping my brain and heart around it. But it’s not going anywhere. It sits patiently, staring, unblinking waiting on me to get it. And to STAND UP.

“Few are guilty. All are responsible.” – Abraham Herschel

People are burning down churches. Black churches. Houses of God. For a moment I wondered if the person or people responsible really think they are accomplishing what they are setting out to do. I also have struggled with my responsibility in this. I didn’t burn those churches. But on some level, I am responsible. What do I do with that? How do I go about rebuilding those churches?

I’m not sure. But I want to talk about it. About the reparations. Of buildings, spirits, and hearts. And relationships. Now is not the time to be pointing fingers and drawing lines in the sand. Now is not the time to divide and attack each other. History says “divide and conquer” works. We shall not be conquered and bow down before hatred. No. Never.

And so this image has been going through my mind today. The one that I learned about when I was young–of how forest fires are often fought. They light a backfire to burn all of the brush. One that they can control. So that when the raging fire gets there, there is nothing there for it to consume, and it will die out. And it was that image that brought these words to mind.

fighting fire with fire

the gas was poured and the match lit
seeking to burn down the building
and the spirits of those who gathered there

it was done in hatred and loathing
and brokenness and pain
a lashing out at others
in an attempt to trample the spirits
of those who are different
than the one who sought to burn

but the backfire was already lit
long, long ago
in the passion and love of those who once gathered
in that holy hall
and sang to the rafters their praises
these flames of love had already been burning
long before hate came to destroy

and those flames will keep burning
high and mighty
licking the sky
quelling the fire of hate
as it approaches
the sound of voices raised in love
and grace
and forgiveness
will drown out the roar
of the flames of prejudice

love will rebuild
and restore
and regroup

love will put the flames
of hurt and destruction out
and every time that match is lit
the eternal flame of love
will burn it out

each and every time

love will recreate
love will use what was meant for evil
and shine through the ashes of all
that was lost

like the rays of the morning sun
gently stirring the souls awake
love will awaken the flames of
all that is good
in each person, one by one,

until in the end,
love wins

By 4028mdk09 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By 4028mdk09 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Why Cooter Wants to Own a Bar

So Cooter has a dream.  A big one.

He wants to own a bar someday.

First off let me explain that his only exposure of any kind to a bar is the cantina in Star Wars.  But it made quite an impression, I reckon.  Such that this is what my precious 8-year-old baby boy told me a couple of months ago: “I want to own a bar one day.  See, I will work with the police, and the bad guys will come in and the police will be able to find them.  But the bad guys won’t know about it–it’s a secret operation. And that way we can keep finding the bad guys and getting them arrested.”

I can’t even.

I wish it were as simple as all that–that everything was that clear cut and black and white between the good and the bad AND that the bad buys would just flock to his bar where they would be captured and sent to jail for justice to be served.  Because, I guess, bad guys have no sense and therefore wouldn’t figure out that their favorite bar had become one huge, human version of a roach motel–folks go in, but they never come out.

Bless him.

About a week ago, he found out that one of our friends whom he was close to at one time has been drinking.  “WHAT?!” he practically bolted out of his booster seat in the very back of the van.  “WHAT?  He’s only like 18, right?  THAT’S ILLEGAL.  He could get ARRESTED!!!!!”  And he flopped back in his seat, blowing a puff of air out, crossing his arms, and rolling his eyes.  He was D.O.N.E.  DONE.

Bless him.  I get it, I do.

This morning as we were getting ready to go the Superhero Event at our library, Cooter came into the kitchen and out of the blue brought the subject up again.

“Hey Mama, you know another reason I want to have a bar?  Because some folks can’t afford entertainment.  They can’t afford to watch the boxing matches and stuff.  So I think they could come to the bar and watch it there.  Because it’s sad.  That people can’t afford entertainment…..” he wandered out of the room, shaking his head, still talking about his future plans.

That Cooter.  Always considering those in need.

*sigh*

Tonight I’m thankful for a little man whose sense of justice and good triumphing over evil is strong.  I’m thankful that for now he doesn’t have to get the complexities of life and all of the gray areas between the good and evil–the place where most of us live.  All too soon he will face those areas and situations, but for now, I like his plans.  I encourage his dreams.  He wants to make the world a better place, and he wants to help those who aren’t as fortunate as he is.  (That’s how I’m reframing this whole bar thing, by the way, y’all.  It’s the only way I can smile when my baby boy starts talking about owning a bar.  The struggle is real.)

To be honest, I’m proud of his dream.

Because he has one.  And it keeps growing and evolving as he learns more about the world around him.

That’s a win in my book any day.

I like dreams and the ones what think them up.

May we all find something big in our hearts to dream about that makes us smile and will make the world a better place.  It’s the first step to DOing.  I like it.

Love to all.

ps–the irony is not lost on me that I have one child who wants to pass the bar, one who dances using a barre, and one who wants to own a bar…..Someone has a great sense of humor.  I’m laughing already, okay?  🙂

Until Everybody’s Free

A week ago Cooter and I traveled up to Wesleyan to attend Core Ensemble’s production of “Ain’t I a Woman.”

Many years ago, I read Sojourner Truth’s words calling for men to get out of the way and let women fix the world.  I fell in love with her then.  A strong woman who had suffered through so many hardships.  I knew when I saw that this was being performed that I had to go.

What an amazing evening it was.  Cooter sat quietly, drawing and listening and happy sitting next to his big sister who met us there for the performance.  He was there to see her–me for the performance.

Amazing is an understatement.  One young woman played four different roles.  One young man played the piano with music that suited each story.  Between the two of them my eyes were opened and my heart was touched.  And broken.

The first woman to come on stage was a sassy Zora Neale Hurston.  She was delightful and the music was a bluesy jazz that I adored.  Laughter was heard all through the audience when she said, with her head cocked just so:

“Love, I find, is like singing. Everybody can do enough to satisfy themselves, though it may not impress the neighbors as being very much.”

The next woman to come out and visit for a bit was Clementine Hunter, an elderly artist whose story was fascinating.  I loved her accent and her passion for what she was doing.  That she didn’t begin painting until she was in her 50’s was an encouragement to me.  When she showed her painting of a young couple being married, she pointed out that the bride looked scared.  The groom did too.  “Men need to be scared,” she adamantly stated.  Ha.  She was delightful right up to the end, when she “kicked” us all out because she had work to do.

Sojourner Truth was powerful and to the point.  I have seen her speech re-enacted by many women, but I still get chill bumps each and every time I hear those words.  “And ain’t I a woman!”

Then came Fannie Lou Hamer.  Oh me.

What an incredible story–this woman who set out to register to vote because IT WAS NOW LEGAL for her to do so, and she lost her job.  It only got worse from there.  On the way back from a conference in Charleston in 1963, she and her traveling companions were stopped in Mississippi and arrested, jailed, and beaten.

I was on the edge of my seat.  In tears.  I was willing for the words she was about to say, for the story she was telling about what happened to her–for those words not to be the horrific ones that they were bound to be.  I didn’t want to hear them, but more than that, I didn’t want them to be true.

But they were.

Here’s something I want y’all to know.

We are teaching history all wrong.

If we want to make an impact on our young people, if we want to make them want to change things for the better so things like what happened to Mrs. Hamer don’t happen again, we need to do just what the Core Ensemble performers did–take it out of the book and make it come to life.

Because I walked out of there, weeping on the inside, torn up over a history that I didn’t cause but one I haven’t really worked to change either.  And things like this are still going on.  Discrimination.  Racism.  Bigotry.  Hatred.  Abuse of power.  Slander.  Exclusion.  So many hard and horrible wrongs are still happening.

When I sat there and saw Ms. Hamer’s body react to the lashes she described, when I saw her walk weakly across the “room” from her “hospital bed,” when I watched her hands bound in her gown “handcuffs,”  I wanted to jump on that stage and stop it right then.  I was glad that my oldest, who has just begun in earnest on her journey of who she is becoming, was there to witness the horrors that have gone before.  I was thankful that her heart was touched.  As were the hearts of many of her friends in the audience.

I did notice one young woman a few rows in front of us, whose head was bent over her phone or a pad of paper, it was hard to tell which.  She rarely looked up at what was playing out in front of her.  I wondered later if she would just rather not have been there, or was that her way of avoiding a story that was too painful to bear.

Because, if so, I get it.

Tonight I’m thankful for the opportunity to hear the stories of these courageous and ordinary women from “their own” mouths.  Their stories stand out but there are so many others like them, whose stories haven’t been heard.  My heart and respect goes out to them as well.  I’m thankful for having my eyes opened to what our country’s story was in the not too distant past; and I realize that many days we are still there, it’s just disguised in another way.

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As I left Porter Auditorium last Thursday night, I watched my oldest and youngest walk together, and I realized that they are the ones who will change this world for the better.  I am doing the best I can, but I realize that one of the greatest things I can do for this world is raise children for whom these stories also bring frustration and a sense of what is right and wrong and a drive to stand up for those who have been wronged.  More than that, I hope I am raising them to cut off the wrong before it ever has a chance to get started.

Because, in the words of Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer, “Nobody’s free until everybody’s free.”

Amen.

Love to all.