I confess that I was somewhat of an oddity as a child. There are some who might argue that I’ve retained this quality into my adulthood. When I was about eight years old, my family was part of Brethren church plant in Grand Rapids. Actually, my father is the one who initiated the plant and…
I have never read a book as raw and as real as Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. While it is only 152 pages in length, it took me over a month to complete the book from cover to cover. I had to put the book down several times to process the intensity of the author’s words and his brutal honesty concerning the world he experiences as a Black man living in the United States.
Walking the streets of Bethlehem during the protest was not a fearful event for me. I perhaps never felt safer, even at the sound of tear gas shot into the air and watching the smoke in the distance.
We remember the racial injustice of the past and the progress we’ve made into the present. Now, do we take a break until Black History Month or until next January? Despite the prevailing myth of a present “post-racial” society, the winds of change and activism have sprung up once again.
An officer stepped out of the patrol car behind us. Automatically, I sized the situation up. There were no other vehicles around. The street was empty. No witnesses. White neighborhood. White cop. Male. Shorter than me. Me – church shoes, suit and tie. Brown. All brown.
I knew something was wrong. My sister’s voice was dry on the other end of my hello. “Abuela… is dead.” I… paused to take in those words. My abuela, who had been at home in bed for months, had recently taken a turn for the worse. Death was something we knew that was coming, but not the something I prepared to receive. And to hear she was gone… Who knew one sentence, with so few words, could destroy so much?