I lost my faith in humanity on the night of November 8th, 2016. It was the end of a terrible year of campaigning where Donald Trump had harassed his way to the GOP nomination despite — or perhaps because of, in hindsight — his egregious temperament. I had thought he’d demonstrated his unfitness to be … Continue reading Kwanzaa 2021: Imani (Faith)
Facing the challenges of the next 20 years is going to require some ingenious creativity on our part. The government’s response to climate change, pandemics, wealth inequality, crippling debt, institutional racism, and revitalizing urban blight has sent a clear message we should embrace going into 2022: we’re on our own, and it’s up to us … Continue reading Kwanzaa 2021: Kuumba (Creativity)
It is an unfortunate fact of life that we live in a capitalist society. For Black Americans in the United States, this means that one of the fundamental levers of life has been purposefully and aggressively tilted away from us since the days of a promised 40 acres and a mule. Disenfranchisement through discrimination in … Continue reading Kwanzaa 2021: Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics)
The past five years have been very difficult ones for me. The fundamental shock of seeing my fellow countryfolk vote for Trump in the 2016 election curdled into a trauma over time, as I learned just how mistaken I was about the attitudes of the Americans around me — even folks I thought had been … Continue reading Kwanzaa 2021: Umoja (Unity)
Habari gani, fam? 2020 has made me keenly aware of my place within my community, and how important my relationships are to me. When George Floyd was murdered by police officers and the collective frustration of millions of Americans bubbled over into street protests, it meant a lot that folks checked in on me because … Continue reading Kwanzaa 2020: Ujima
Hot take: achieving unity is an active effort that requires us to see the virtues in others and the flaws in ourselves.
Hey, it's (sort of) the first day of the new decade! Er, depending on who you ask. Judging from the many, MANY "Best of 2010s" articles I've read over the past few months, the consensus seems to be that decades begin at Year 0. Since the significance of these markers is completely artificial, that's a … Continue reading A Mindful New Year
Personal confrontations among friends are a special kind of hell. No matter how much you brace for the conflict, or how hard you try to keep calm, eventually the anxiety takes hold and restraint goes out the window. It's such an awful experience most of us will do anything to avoid it. Unfortunately, in today's … Continue reading The Anxious Person’s Guide to Political Discourse
No one needs to tell you that slavery was kind of a big deal in the United States. It's taught almost every year in American History classes, and at the very least students learn a lot about how it was ended when the Confederacy lost the American Civil War. Even still, while we know a … Continue reading (BHM) Slavery in the United States
I honestly don't know if Black History Month is a big deal to anyone who doesn't have to learn about it because it's a whole section of their American History class. Being educated in a predominantly black city, I was taught about the usual black American luminaries year after year -- Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, … Continue reading It’s Black History Month!