Tag Archives: anti racism

Fire, Race & Still Hope


After watching such terrifying images of the destruction caused by the fires on the west coast of the USA, I tried to put myself in the place of the victims and simply start shaking at the thought. It saddened me so much to hear about the number of deaths including a young child. I believe that climate change is the ultimate culprit for these calamities.

I wonder if we will be able to reverse the damage so far. Three states are suffering from the fires and who knows how many people will end up with serious respiratory illnesses in the weeks to come. Louisiana is soon facing yet another possible hurricane. Puerto Rico has to deal with the sand storms that come from the Sahara. You have to see it to believe that so much soot can accumulate within just a few days. The island has also experienced several earthquakes as have so many other places.

We can only hope that science will figure out what needs to be done. We know what we can do to help the situation. During the pandemic shut down, many cities were observing how the environment seemed cleaner. Obviously, there were less cars on the roads and therefore less pollution. It simply makes sense the more we work together the better the results. Sometimes it takes something like a pandemic to help us see reality.

Racial tensions augmented during these last few months. All races came together to stand up for racial justice. I recently reread a copy of James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time. I had underlined these quotes so many years ago when I first read his work and which still resonates today.

“Life is tragic simply because the earth turns and the sun inexorably rises and sets, and one day, for each of us, the sun will go down for the last, last time. Perhaps the whole root of our trouble, the human trouble, is that we will sacrifice all the beauty of our lives, will imprison ourselves in totems, taboos, crosses, blood sacrifices, steeples, mosques, races, armies, flags, nations, in order to deny the fact of death, the only fact we have. It seems to me that one ought to rejoice in the fact of death–ought to decide, indeed, to earn one’s death by confronting with passion the conundrum of life. One is responsible for life: It is the small beacon in that terrifying darkness from which we come and to which we shall return.”

“And if the word integration means anything, this is what it means: that we, with love, shall force our brothers to see themselves as they are, to cease fleeing from reality and begin to change it.”

                                          ― James Baldwin

Life only happens once. And for those who believe we reincarnate it still happens one life at a time and within a specific time. I hope and believe that we can make life better for each other when we decide to accept that each of us is deserving of a good life, a healthy existence, a peaceful coexistence. I still hope that we awaken to the essence of our oneness. Are you ready?

Image by Melba Christie (c) 2020

We need to talk


As a lifetime educator, I feel that I must join the conversation on race and how racism impacts all of us. I lived through the protests of the sixties and remember my teachers talking frankly about racism. I feel blessed to have had such great teachers with such enormous insights. I was lucky to have teachers from all backgrounds. Race to me was basically the human race. I always tried to teach my students more about our common ground but always celebrated the differences with equal enthusiasm. Now that I am a grandmother I feel that I owe it to the to be clear about how racism affects us all one way or another. I feel I have to be blunt at times and not sugar coat some of the realities. It is so difficult to isolate children from some of these horribly frightening events. Social media and the television coverage of the latest horror has been so dreadfully painful. As a mother, grandmother, educator, and simply a human being I have to speak out. All grown-ups especially those who are parents have the obligation, I believe, to have the talk with their respective children. If you are not a parent but have a neighbor or family member with children, find a way to join the conversation.

Mr. George Floyd’s little girl declared to the world “MY DADDY CHANGED THE WORLD” and I pray for all my heart and for the sake of all our children. It takes more than a village. A village can only subscribe to one area. We need to expand the village to include all people and all children.

I have posted a few videos that may help some folks start the talk about race and racism. Look for children’s books that show the culture values that exist in all villages. I just purchased a few books from a book store called https://www.eyeseeme.com/ which is owned by an African American woman whose mission is to promote positive images and stories about African American culture and history. Books have always been a source of comfort for me when I have been confused about something or needed to learn more about a subject in order to fully understand a concept. I hope to continue the conversation with my fellow bloggers and with the readers of my blog. It is pivotal to not only have the conversation but to take action in the most creative ways we can from this moment forward so that we do not have to be the witnesses of plain and torturous hatred. I hope to hear from all of you. What will you do to take part in the conversation? #JointheTalk@poemattic.