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“If you do not tell the truth about yourself you cannot tell it about other people.” -Virginia Woolf, (The Moment and other Essays, 1947)
“A house divided against itself cannot stand.” -Abraham Lincoln, (Illinois senatorial acceptance speech, 1858)
“We have fought hard and long for integration, as I believe we should have, and I know that we will win. But I’ve come to believe we’re integrating into a burning house.” -Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (Speaking to Harry Belafonte, circa 1968)
“America, I just checked my following list, and…You mothafuckas owe me” -Childish Gambino, (This is America, 2018)
In light of this year’s MLK Day and the recent terror attacks on the Capitol, I thought I would continue in the tradition of Tubman, Baldwin, Hamer, and King. I thought I would offer an honest observation of the nation I think of as both a home and a prison…
“The only normalcy we will settle for is the normalcy that recognizes the dignity and worth of all God’s children.”
– Dr. Martin Luther King, 1965 Voting Rights Rally
“As you enter positions of trust and power, dream a little before you think.”
– Toni Morrison
“One can only face in others what one can face in oneself.”
– James Baldwin, Nobody Knows My Name, published 1961
“I believe in truth and reconciliation. I just think that truth and reconciliation are sequential: That you can’t have reconciliation without the truth.”
– Bryan Stevenson, Author of Just Mercy
My beloved colleague Samara Gaev, and teacher Natalie Goldberg have each instilled in me the instruction to dive in and read what I have written. Speak up. No apologies. No caveats. No equivocating. Say it plain. In short, bust through the self-censoring and get on with it. Be willing to be wrong. Be willing, to be cancelled. Easier said than done.