Showing posts from April, 2017

Take out the trash.

There were many painful and awkward situations which led me to a somewhat early awareness of race and class. One of my favorite authors/speakers, Dr. Cornell West once said "People wake up at different times" in reference to (white) people coming to an awareness of race and class issues, and Im thankful that I had a somewhat early awakening in life. My earliest lessons on all things race and class were fostered by my mother, not in a higher education theoretical framework understanding kind of way- but by a real life, single mother, strong as steel but teachable, white woman in the city with interracial friendships and relationships kinda way. Its better, trust me. Real Life is a way better and more dependable classroom. School also was a huge component in how I have come to understand issues of whiteness and its inherent privilege, and all things race and class based. For high school, my mother, sister and I moved into a close neighboring suburb of Chicago. I could t

Sleeping on a toilet paper bed

"You don't have to be tough all the time," my mother snapped at me after I responded sarcastically and seemingly unemotional to something she had shared with me. Thus ensued her usual monologue about how I would never find a husband, or have a real relationship, if I didn't develop more sensitivity and vulnerability and put that on rampant display. She sometimes struggled to understand me, even though I was her identical life twin. Our resemblance physically and emotionally is still sometimes too much to handle. Usually I glossed over her roller coaster emotions because they were fleeting, but this time I stopped and decided to remind her of what she already knew. I explained to her that life was hard and it didn't do anyone (specifically US) any good to be all tender and mushy. Life was not, and is not kind to the weak, and I felt pretty assured this steely exterior was strength personified. She stared blankly at me, her endlessly creative, colorful, word-picture