Melting Pot

Alabama Connections: The Circle

So an important part of my trip to Alabama was the workshop held, whose second half turned into a powerful healing ceremony. I remember teaching about the state of Wuji – Emptiness, also known as Sunyata. I pointed out that the medicine wheel, mandala, and all these sacred…

Connection, My Work, My Gift, and My Salvation 

Remaining members of the 47th Street  Temptations, L-R Azell Madden, Robert Brown and Don Arnold “We are hardwired to connect with others, it’s what gives purpose and meaning to our lives, and without it, there is suffering.”— Brené Brown Talk About Connection! I recently attended a childhood friend…

Goin’ In: We are connected: Deal with it!!

  We are connected to a violent American past that few people want to remember: the transatlantic slave trade. America chooses not to atone for slavery or grapple with the lingering question of reparations in the form of land, money, and international healing. When American political, social, and…

Goin’In: Shelter, What Shelter?

The Roseman Covered Bridge. Covering enhances the life of a wooden bridge.   Shelter, what shelter? That’s cynical me scanning an environment that isn’t particularly sheltering for Black folks. The concept of shelter seems obvious but deserves a little excavation. As I considered “shelter,” I became enamored with…

There is No Shelter in Either/Or

For years I have been hearing that the “Goddess is emerging”. I have understood the statement to mean that when the feminine energies are brought into balance with the masculine energies, people, in wholeness, can exist in harmony with all life. What does harmony look like in practical…

Blossom: Discovering Dr. Joyce Brown

As a Garden Spices Contributor, Dr. Joyce Brown has graced our pages with her many insights on caregiving, education, and affirming the beauty of life. However, nothing is more heart rendering than when she lets us peek into her family’s strength, revealing the foundation for how she became…

Shelter: Heitz Hall 1968–69

Bradley University, class of 1971, represented the most significant number of black women enrolling at one time. Unless you came with a friend and requested her as a roommate, the university decided each black girl should have a white roommate. On the cusp of womanhood and away from…

Acculturation: Coming of Age in America’s Heartland

Acculturation is the cultural modification of people by adapting to another culture. Growing up in Rockford, Illinois during the 50s, ’60s, and ’70s, black people were expected to change to housing, education, and employment settings designed for whites only. In the September 1949 issue of Life magazine, postwar Rockford was described…