Melting Pot

Goin’ In: Sketch of Urban Renewal

Railroaded!   You see there was a corner bar that was just a block away from the bus line. Because it was contaminated with I never knew what, My mama made me walk on the other side of the street. And then There was Skeet’s store and, (please…

Losing the Shackles: Getting Free

All of our lives we’ve been told of the freedoms we have by being Americans. Freedom of speech, religion, to bear arms, press, etc. It is only when we get to be middle-aged that we realize we haven’t taken advantage of the most important freedoms promised by American…

Love’s Best Man

July 23, 2017   Susan Wylie  for James Robinson   Searching lifelong for love’s best man Deep the love, deep the life Deep the touch of two becoming one, Far becoming near Stranger in a strange land Swapping cell for cell Transforming Now familiar in a family land…

Reflections…on family, fathers, and soft landings

Meet my father Nathaniel (Jake) Box, my nephew, Kelley Hudson, Shawna Young, and my uncle, Leotis (Red) Box Shawna’s graduation Battle Creek Central High School, June 1995 As Father’s Day approaches, the debate intensifies about Missing-In-Action fathers. Deadbeat dads. What useful nugget can I add to the conversation…

Goin’ In: Witnessing Youth Jump Overboard

 I believe that our life experiences are cyclical and I believe unresolved problems often return to us cleverly disguised as something else.  I’m particularly fond of the Sankofa bird. It is one of the sixty-three Adinkra symbols of the Akan people of West Africa. Sankofa is a bird…

Sarin’s Thai

These days you can find Sarin at the Thai Cooking School.  She is introducing her “love” to students that crave this cuisine. “I have a great passion for Thai food. I like to share enthusiasm, my knowledge and my experiences with you. I cook with happiness and from…

Quiet Thunder

  And yes, tomorrow morning I will don my kurtah and kuffiyah and make my way to the local mosque – my every footstep a quiet thunder, warning the world ahead that my Muslimness is queer and alive and on its way. And yes, when I arrive, I…

The Panama Experience

The most striking thing about Panama is the diversity and culture of the people. Each area of the country has its own personality. Downtown Panama City has a definite metropolitan feel with its tall sleek buildings and Miami vibe without the Miami price tag. Taxis and food are…

Nonviolent Communication

When most people hear of “Violent Communication” they may envision physical aggression. Certainly acts of physical aggression are violent and prevent safe communication. We may also harm others through offensive words, labels, judgments, criticizing others, using political rhetoric, or responding with anger. When these verbal and emotional attacks…

Project Say Something: History and Race in Florence, AL

Urban Renewal and Public Housing in Florence Florence’s first public housing units, like its neighborhoods, were segregated. In 1950, the city of Florence needed both new, modern housing and clearance of slum areas, but public housing took priority. That same year the Public Housing Administration approved a preliminary…