Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Mothers and Grandmothers

photo by Oriol Gascon from Flickr

And so our mothers and grandmothers have, more often than not anonymously, handed on the creative spark, the seed of the flower
they themselves never hoped to see - or like a sealed letter they could
not plainly read.

Alice Walker

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Book Review - Next Stop Grand Central

Next Stop Grand Central
Maira Kalman

This book is magical. It's magic realism for children and adults. Even the youngest children will find it interesting as Kalman introduces the wonderful men and women who work at Grand Central but preschoolers will be especially delighted with some of the more absurdist moments.
The page where the opera singer sings "my knee" has become a family insider joke when real life just goes over the top Q will stop and stand and belt out "My KNEEEEEE!!!!!"

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Big Brother Q!

You and Jake again several years ago. See how thoughtful you are as you hold Jakes hand? What are you telling him? What is your just barely three year old self thinking as you walk in your Spiderman costume and little red jacket? Of course, at that time it wasn't a costume, for you wore that Spiderman suit almost every other day. Wore it so often we had a portrait of you painted in the red and blue costume so that we would never forget that magical time when you were a super hero almost every day.

You will be a wonderful big brother! Thoughtful, kind, full of empathy and love and much, much good humor! How we laugh! I cannot wait to share that laughter with our new little brother or sister. Oh, and of course, the tears, and spills and tantrums and walks and talks and stories. The dances and music and stickiness. The hugs, the kisses, the car rides and plane rides. The swimming. The questions. All of it. The breakfast table plans and dinner table reports. The parties. The sick days. The love.

You will be a wonderful big brother!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Dream Variations by Langston Hughes

To fling my arms wide
In some place of the sun,
To whirl and to dance
Till the white day is done.
Then rest at cool evening
Beneath a tall tree
While night comes on gently,
Dark like me-
That is my dream!

To fling my arms wide
In the face of the sun,
Dance! Whirl! Whirl!
Till the quick day is done.
Rest at pale evening...
A tall, slim tree...
Night coming tenderly
Black like me.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Friends, Brothers, Cousins, Memories

Photo by Rita Willaert from her Flickr portfolio, Ethiopia

"You live in a white state. Deal with it."

Click on the quote to reach the article at Boston.com

"You live in a white state. Deal with it." A quote by a policeman to a 5 year old who pushed another child after he was called a racial slur.

The above article is about racial profiling in Vermont, where an African American graduate student was stopped by police 13 times during his one year in Vermont, twice the first day in the state. Vermont is no different than any other state in this country this is not the exception it is the rule.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Monday, July 7, 2008

Dose of Realty

Often White people will think that Black people are being defeatist when Blacks try to tell the truth about what living in this country is like. I don't know how to go about helping people to jump over this psychological bridge to foster some real understanding of the situation. If we were to be defeatist, we wouldn't talk about these issues. We would live our lives trying our best to shelter ourselves (we will never be able to shelter our children) from the truth. More importantly we would not be preparing ourselves to help our children deal with these realities.

I've decided one way to help is to post news items about real life in America for those that are not White. Often we will not agree with the 'official' reaction. In the story below the school boards actions are completely inappropriate. Hopefully, there will be the occasional story where the official reaction is just. In any case it gives each of us an oppurtunity to reflect on how we as parents might have responded if it was our child in the same situation. The reality is, one day it will be our child.

Dose of Realty today is the story of the Black Student Union members at a school in Los Angeles. It's important to note that it is often our children that are trying hard and becoming involved that get singled out for abuse. The school's racial makeup is 45 % Hispanic, 30% White and 4.5 % Black. That's important too.

To read about their experience of being Black in America please go to: