No Offense: Hating Black History Month

I’ve written this blog about 4 times. Yet each time at its end,  I hit the delete button. It was too honest. It was too raw. Most of all, for a piece on race and the church, it was waaaay to militant. And if I learned anything in my entire integrated life, nothing makes white folks more nervous than a militant black person, especially when its one of those potentially angry black women.I can’t lie. My emotions got the best of me as I contemplated the hypocrisy of another Black History Month. … [Read More...]

A Dream Deferred: Christopher,Terrell, Trayvon and the Outrage of Silence

He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it. Martin Luther King, Jr. . My good friend, colleague, and fellow Patheos blogger, Alyce McKenzie asked me earlier this week, “why is there so much time between your blog posts?” I explained that I don’t like to blog just to blog. I have to feel passionate or pissed off to write and lately nothing had risen to the level of pissi … [Read More...]

Florida Juice: Thoughts Before the Trayvon Verdict

One of the best things about being in Europe the last month and a half is that I have been shut off from the 24-hour news cycle that has become American journalism. Consequently, other than my daily check-in of,, and ESPN, most of the last 80 days of my life have been filled with the BBC, RTE (Irish television), and SkyTV. For a news junkie like me the first few weeks were painful, but after awhile I realized that I wasn’t nearly as stressed or depressed. Words like O … [Read More...]

Saying Grace: Paula Deen, Progressives, and Race

I am sure that it had to be hard for them. After all, it was clear that they were going to have to explain to their African American professor why going to Brixton was so uncomfortable. I had seen that look many times before. The search for the right words; the really right words that would convince both the teacher and their peers that their reactions were normal. I felt for them in that moment--knowing that they were facing a fear worse than being in Brixton--the fear of being perceived as a … [Read More...]

Still striking out: Why I won’t be taking anymore college students to Church

One of the cool things about taking students to another country is that they are willing to try things they wouldn't normally try. They will eat new things, talk to new people, and yes, even try on new ideas. Our London program is one of the toughest to get into but I truly believe it is one of the most rewarding. Although this is my first year, I have long admired it for its rigor and ability to use not only London but the entire UK as a pedagogical canvas for engaging our students in … [Read More...]

It ain’t that deep: What we learned from Joe and Mika’s blow up

Anyone watching MSNBC’s Morning Joe, this morning could sense something just wasn’t right. To the casual observer, all might have appeared well, but to those of us Morning Joe fanatics, we knew that the overt politeness, the lack of teasing, and the somber tone were indicative of something else: the uncomfortable aftermath of a family fight that still isn’t completely healed.Thursday morning’s blow up between Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski sent shockwaves throughout the blogosphere yeste … [Read More...]

Unchecked: Why you should vote for Obama and why I won’t

I am a daughter of the American South. My family story is like many African American families who chose to stay in the South rather than head to the North or the West in the Great Migration. Settling near the very plantations where they were slaves, we were a family of preachers, teachers, pullman porters, factory workers, caddies, domestics, and farmers. The goal for my great grandparents was an American goal: for their children to get an education; to own a home and raise a family; and to … [Read More...]

Me, Myself, and I: Sorting through the issues of Campaign 2012

For four years, I have been in a silent war. While not fought with ‘horses and bayonets” or aircraft carriers filled with drones, the battle has been fierce and unrelenting. Though occasionally the evidence of its existence would emerge from time to time on a Facebook rant or in an office conversation with a colleague; the true weight of its import was only known to me, God, and my 8 year old Pit Bull, Ms. Eddy (who was forced to listen to my attempts to make sense of what I was enduring).  My in … [Read More...]

Like a good neighbor…..

I knew something was wrong in the way that he said my name. “Honey,” he said, “did you hear about a stabbing in Highland Park?” I said, yes I had but the news didn’t share anything other than the fact that the husband was dead and that the wife was in the hospital. “Maria, that was Rod and Dina.” My head started spinning. No, not Rod and Dina! What happened? Was it a break in? Where were the kids?The Steeles are staples of our church and friends of our family. We had just been in their house … [Read More...]

Maybe it was the Chili Dog…..

My Sunday morning had been great so far. I had just returned from preaching at one of my favorite churches, Warren Chapel UMC and was sitting down to a Father’s Day lunch with my husband Jeff. As we each opened our class A healthy meal of Chili Dogs and Tater tots from Sonic and our respective newspapers, I thought, “Wow. this is a great day.” Little did I know what the Metro section of the Dallas Morning News had in store for me. There on the front cover of the Metro section, was a full page abo … [Read More...]