Melting Pot

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…

Unknown Culture

As a young child, I was made aware of my heritage. My maternal grandmother is Mexican from the southwestern border of Arizona, and my maternal grandfather is Italian, a man from Pennsylvania, whose parents came from the tip of the boot of the country of Italy. Family rumors…

Scanning Bangkok Series:#3

People I loved Bangkok! The busyness of the streets awakened my senses – delectable food smells on every corner, the vibrancy of the colors, fashion, and ornate temples, but I cannot feel the pleasure of any trip unless the warmth of the people touches me. They did. In…