Nomination for Most Necessary Picture: Twelve Years a Slave

I wish I could talk to my Great-Aunt Marie about the movie Twelve Years a Slave, but regrettably “Neenie” died when I was three. This spinster librarian from Detroit did, however, leave a legacy—a self-published book of family history. Written in 1957, this book documented my family’s years in Missouri in the 1800’s. My parents [Read More...]

Bee Wise

This winter has devastated my sub-tropical garden in New Orleans. I was out of town when the last polar vortex dipped down for a visit. In my absence, all of the plants that I had brought into the house during the first big freeze were left outside to melt into gelatinous puddles. The joyful exception [Read More...]

Saving the music, Saving our souls

Much talk is made of gentrification, but I want to take a moment and lift up the shadow side of all the cool new coffee houses and increased property taxes – dispossession. New Orleanians who managed to return post-flood are finding themselves pushed out of the city by the incredible post-2005 rent & tax increases [Read More...]

Deep South

Planned Parenthood of Louisiana hosted a screening of deepsouth last night in honor of World AIDS Day. Filmmaker Lisa Biagiotti joined the panel after the screening and shared that it was the startling statistics of HIV/AIDS in the south, combined with the SILENCE about this reality – in stark contrast to the national story that [Read More...]

America’s God (a lullaby)

“It was all God’s plan.” George Zimmerman In the United States, God  loves white and violent, it seems; loves what’s inhuman, it looks. Look at His plan working as it does. In the US, God loves those laws that fill the jails, that fill the pockets of the rich, it appears. Just look. He– yes, [Read More...]

Stand Your Ground

George Zimmerman was acquitted of murdering Trayvon Martin. Apparently he was allowed to “stand his ground” against a young man whom he deemed dangerous by virtue of the fact that the boy was African-American and wearing a hoodie. Trayvon, it seems, was not allowed to stand his ground against the man who was stalking him, [Read More...]

A Prayer for those Whose Hearts are on Fire

A prayer after the not guilty verdict of George Zimmerman Spirit of love and justice, Tonight I am angry. May my anger burn cleanly, Joining the light of so many hearts on fire. May we know anger as a source of strength, Anger that seeks to purify, Anger that has as its fuel the power [Read More...]

Weeding Out Racism

I’m a gardener in the upper Midwest, so in July I spend a lot of time pulling up weeds. Just yesterday, along with a lot of other stuff, I probably pulled up a couple of hundred tiny maple trees, growing from the ‘helicopter blades’ that spin to the ground from my neighbor’s maple each spring. [Read More...]

Incarceration Nation

Incarceration nation, where did you put your young men? You put them in a plea bargain; you put them in a felony record; you put them out of your mind. Incarceration nation, your heart is in a prison cell; your future is in a prison cell; your conscience is in a prison cell. Incarceration nation, [Read More...]

That’s What Bearing Witness Is…

Let go of what you know and honor what exists Son, that’s what bearing witness is Daughter, that’s what bearing witness is ~ David Shannon Bazan, Bearing Witness Less than 15 miles away from the city of New Orleans as the crow flies – or 25 miles if you drive along the every curving Mississippi [Read More...]


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