On Being Unapologetically Black…

The price we pay for being ourselves is worth it. –Eartha Kitt As kids we were regularly admonished to “use your inside voice” (or some variant of that phrase) by some older matriarchal figure, usually a grey-haired teacher–a librarian in my case–whenever you got just a little bit too wound up in your conversations with…

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Book 14: The Color Purple–Alice Walker

I’ve seen The Color Purple with Whoopie Goldberg, Danny Glover, and Oprah, no less than ten times. I’ve also seen the (first) broadway version of story and would like to see the more recent (and apparently better) broadway musical. But I’ve never read the book. Surprisingly, I didn’t finish the book and think about how…

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bell hooks–on love of death

In our culture the worship of death is so intense it stands in the way of love… We will witness the death of others or we will witness our own dying, even if it’s just in that brief instance when life is fading away. Living with lovelessness is not a problem we openly and readily…

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Book 9: Black Feeling Black Talk (1968)–Nikki Giovanni

I always shy away from reading poetry and remember, after I force myself to sit down and read it, why: it’s harder than reading prose. But it’s often so much more gratifying so then I wonder why I don’t read more poetry. Nikki Giovanni has an inexplicable way of communicating so much with so few…

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Audre Lorde on Race Consciousness

But we never ever talked about what it meant and felt like to be Black and white, and the effects that had on our being friends. Of course, everybody with any sense deplored racial discrimination, theoretically and without discussion. We could conquer it by ignoring it. … How meager the sustenance was I gained from…

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Parable of the Sower, Chapter 10

When apparent stability disintegrates, As it must– God is Change– People tend to give in To fear and depression, To need and greed. When no influence is strong enough To unify people They divide. They struggle, One against one, Group against group, For survival, position, power. They remember old hates and generate new ones, They…

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Don Miguel Ruiz, Agreement Two

2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering

-Don Miguel Ruiz, from The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book)

Certainly words to live by…if only they were so easy to embody.

Frederick Douglass

Men are so constituted that they derive their conviction of their own possibilities largely from the estimate formed of them by others. If nothing is expected of a people, that people will find it difficult to contradict that expectation. -Frederick Douglass

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