Melting Pot

I’m Here: Process of Gratitude

A father’s process on gratitude is much like life… always changing. I am the proud father of two sons, Christian (nearing age 15) and Morgan (nearing age 11). The testosterone levels in our house are at an all-time high. Looking back, I would call my fatherhood experience thus…

Goin’ in with Black Hair: Women Worldwide Unite

This piece about Black Hair emanated from a Facebook post by one of our most treasured Guest Contributors, Frank Malaba.  I thought it compelling that a South African school would discriminate against hairstyles that were African; that a campaign had to be started to thwart the expulsion of…

“Somewhere in the Darkest Night”

I believe, for every drop of rain that falls, A flower grows… I believe that somewhere in the darkest night, A candle glows… I believe for everyone who goes astray, Someone will come, to show the way, I believe, I believe… Excerpt from I Believe, by Jeffrey Curtis…

Believe That!

It’s funny that you want me to be okay and that you have so much to say about a past that’s based on secrecy and muted lies. It’s funny to me that you don’t see the irony in the community dialogues that tell me in a nice way…

Project Say Something: History & Race in Florence

The story of the Thomas-Rapier family of Florence is an extraordinary one that deserves a more prominent place in our community. It is uniquely American and inspirational, a rare story of African American achievement and optimism in the antebellum South. Intending to research only James T. Rapier, a…

Festival of Freedom

When I first took up the topic for this edition, innumerable songs came flooding into my head, including, of course, Janis Joplin’s version of Me and Bobby McGee and Odetta’s rendition of the post-Civil War song, Oh Freedom. But when the stark realization hit that I couldn’t sing…

Priceless Memories

Let this article be a brief token of expression of my freedom, which found its fullest expression in the places I have traveled, lived and cherished a few priceless memories. The Kolkata chromosome Kolkata is probably one of the most fascinating cities of the world. It is a…

57th Street

The Basleys:  Grandma, Bernie, Daddy, Mama, and me.  No, Mama and Daddy were not ventriloquists! I grew up on Chicago’s Southside.  The  streets that now lie desolate were once vibrant and held concert for kids like me. ‘No worry about gangs or gunshots; just the freedom on playing…

My Dream – Creative Closure

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! Excerpt from Dream Variations, Sweet…

Forever A Hero

“It must be the sleep medication kicking in now and making me feel like posting something before I head to bed. I love my life. I love the people who surround and suport me with their kindness, allowing and welcoming me to become part of their lives. It…