White people have a history of perceiving black men as dangerous, fearful, and menacing. White people have gotten away with killing black boys and men, claiming they were afraid.
As a white woman, I never enter spaces, worried that others will fear me. My husband has learned how important it is to lower white people’s fear of his blackness. He has learned to do this by being overly cheerful and adept at small talk. And he does this by how he wears his hats.
“God’s latest revelation to Joseph Smith instructed him to gather his chosen people in a central place called Zion. Here the saints could practice their faith while waiting for Christ’s second coming. Little did he know the Mormon search for a utopia was only beginning.”
“Settled” is such a cozy word. I like to settle into a comfortable chair or settle down for a warm winter nap. But for eager settlers like Henry and Elizabeth Wood, there was nothing cozy about settling into the raw Canadian land which Britain had given in exchange for their allegiance.”
“I admire a tree’s solid footing in a spinning world.
Walking in forests anchors me.
Placing my palms against a tree’s rough bark, I wonder what secrets it holds.
A tree’s fall leaves are rich with colors of death, and its spring leaves bursting with renewal remind me of the impermanence of life.”
One day at school, I stopped eating lunch. I didn’t stop eating because I wasn’t hungry, hated cafeteria food, wanted to lose weight, or was extra studious. I stopped eating because I was ashamed of being poor. Growing up in Utah, my family was a part of the Church of Latter-Day Saints, the Mormons. TheContinue reading “Lunch Card”
I was born into the Mormon church, baptized at eight. I received a patriarchal blessing and worked hard to be a faithful Latter-Day Saint. I planned to attend Brigham Young University and expected to marry a returned missionary to build a family. I was continuing a faith tradition my family had worshiped in for overContinue reading “Redemption”
Recently, our local paper had an article detailing a letter some concerned community members sent to the school district. They don’t like a “Black Lives Matter” banner hanging on the tennis court in front of the high school. Under the words “Black Lives Matter,” the banner reads, “Vision: Every student is a lifelong learner whoContinue reading “Indoctrination”
I’ve spent nearly two decades as an early childhood teacher teaching hundreds of students. Often, my preschool was the first time parents left their children. Building trust was a dance we did together. Student, parent, and teacher. The goal was to prepare each child for life beyond the preschool walls. Every parent loved their childContinue reading “Teach Our Children”
“Conversations with Racists Like Me,” is a writing idea I have been actively trying to ignore for nearly four years. The thought creeps into my brain when my guard is down in the wee hours of the night. It whispers when my anxious busyness cannot distract me. Much energy has been spent in avoidance. AtContinue reading “Beginnings”