My family has memories of the history of slavery but the story of their arrival on the shores of America is lost in the mists of time. Their arrival in this country was unremarked, unrecorded, and is intertwined with the stories of the Native people whose blood also runs in my veins. Africans were carried as slaves to the shores of America chained together on the ships, walking in coffles supporting the weakest as they did the strongest because they were literally welded together. We know the stories of children separated from their loving families and forced to work in the cotton fields. We know the stories of the children that didn’t survive. My family experienced virulent racism in Little Rock, Arkansas when the United States federal troops were called out to escort my father’s friends to high school over an entire year while hatred and bigotry were inflamed by White politicians against children and young people wanting an education. We know the stories of childhood dreams destroyed and how that damage affects children for a lifetime.
In society, we work for wealth — or at least we think we do. What if i told you it was truly a fictional story? That we do not work for wealth, but instead give ourselves to become someone else’s wealth, in exchange for a note that represents a piece of our time but not the value of it. That wealth was never achieved by hard work and commitment but instead by manipulation and coercion.
“Sidewalk closed.” I stepped around the construction site sign, pressed the crosswalk button, and waited. The usual traffic on Alaska Street crossed in front of me, loud but not so as loud to drown out the voices of construction workers behind me.
“And did you hear about the synagogue in Pittsburgh? All those Jews being killed?” one man asked another, who responded “Oh, yeah,” like he’d rather not talk about it.
It was great to be at Garfield High School for the 37th Annual MLK Day Rally and March January 21. Thousands of people were present for the half a day of activities around the theme “Affirmative Action = Justice: Equal Opportunity in Education, Jobs, Contracts.”
This is a transcript of a speech delivered at the 45th Annual Community Celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. in 2018. The event was sponsored by Seattle Colleges, at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Seattle.
Like many black children, I was raised with tales of the great Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Much of that narrative — at home, in school, in television and in film — centered around Dr. King’s commitment to nonviolence in his fight for racial equality.Continue reading Non-Violence in a Violent World→
Rainier Beach is the new gentrification ground zero. I have a front row seat. I recently celebrated my seventh anniversary of being a homeowner. I have watched my neighbors get foreclosed on and pushed out. I have watched the house flipping teams come through and trim up the yards, slap up new fences, and paint over bright color with the neutral blues and grays white people seem to prefer. When I walk through my neighborhood now, it’s a lot less like the vibrant diverse place I chose to live in and a lot more like Pleasantville.
“Jesus. Active shooter at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.”
Surrounded by shadows created by the early Saturday morning light filtering into the bedroom, I stare at my mother’s text. Grief sticks in my throat like a bone. She doesn’t say it, and neither do I, but I say it later to my husband: “I’m not surprised. I was just waiting for it, that’s all.”
Under a warm summer sun, Ray Corona stood on a stage bursting with color.
“I want to talk about why we use the term ‘Latinx,’” Corona said to the crowd. “Part of the reason why we use the term ‘Latinx’ is because it’s a non-gendered term, and it’s [used] to highlight diversity in our community and to highlight transgender individuals and non-binary individuals.”