The day is hot and musty but everyone is celebrating. After all, everyone can enjoy a small town fireworks display, right? I used to think so. But in revelatory moments, the sheen of this small town—with its beautiful park and festivities—is pulled back to reveal what was always present. Life isn’t always so bright for…Read More
Our son Eric was four years old. My husband George, after teaching all day at Tufts University, would walk over to Tufts Day Care Center, pick Eric up, and walk home with him, Eric riding in the carrier on George’s back. As soon as they’d get in the house, they’d both plop down in front…Read More
It is Martin Luther King Day, and I muse about how my relation to African-Americans has been shaped over the years. When I was a child, my father would sometimes take me into work with him on Saturdays. He was a physician at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, where he ran a research lab (with…Read More
Guest Post by Laura Bramon This post originally appeared at “Good Letters” on August 18, 2008. The birds’ wings shake out the smell of the men who sleep in the park: the smell of meat, sweat, and bread. The birds lift up and fly away as I ride my bike through the park’s courtyard, and…Read More
This post originally appeared as web-exclusive content in Image issue 78. Steve Prince, a New Orleans native, works primarily in printmaking and drawing. His richly textured images are steeped in religious and visual culture; critic D. Eric Bookhardt characterizes their metaphorical power as “an ability to elucidate inexplicable worlds within worlds.” Prince’s recent work includes…Read More
In the twenty-plus years since the Internet became a feature of our lives, there have emerged a couple of articles of conventional wisdom that I, for one, find pretty dubious. First, there’s the claim that “everything on the Internet lasts forever,” usually made in reference to warnings about the dangers of teen “sexting,” or work…Read More
In her photo on the jacket flap of Negroland: A Memoir, Margo Jefferson looks to me like an attractive white woman in her late sixties. In the chapter where she delineates beauty standards for African American girls in the 1950s, when she was a child, her list of skin color options astounds me: “Ivory, cream,…Read More
I managed to live in Indiana for forty years before visiting the Indianapolis 500. A friend offered my husband and me tickets on our anniversary weekend, which also happened to be the 100th anniversary of the race itself, an event that was expected to draw half a million people. “Oh, why do you want to…Read More
Black. Muslim. American. Woman. Poet. The languages she spoke. The ground on which she stood, singing her suffering, power, anger, love. Between the painful past and the dreamed of future: her presence. That’s what I remember. More than the timber of her voice. Definitely more than the poems she read that Saturday afternoon. Fall, 1977.…Read More
Summer morning routine: a cup of Awake tea, the Opinion page of The New York Times.
What am I looking for to get my day going? Information to spark the brain? A needle to inject righteous indignation into my sleepy heart?
The flag is coming down. You know which one.Read More