“Back to School Reading Lists: featuring Cauleen Smith’s “Human _3.0 Reading List”

It’s September, the month when teachers everywhere are passing out reading lists of all kinds. What would you imagine to be on a “Human_3.0 Reading List”? Last Thursday, I visited the Art Institute of Chicago to find out. In 2015-2016, Interdisciplinary Artist and Filmmaker Cauleen Smith made a series of 57 graphite and watercolor drawings…

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Celebrating the Birthday of Gwendolyn Brooks (1917-2000)

Two years after the Detroit riots (also known as the the 12th Street Riot, the 1967 Rebellion and the Uprising of 1967), and one year after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.; Gwendolyn Brooks – the first Black person to be awarded a Pulitzer Prize, for her book Annie Allen (1949) – did something…

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“That Time When Reading Against the Odds Book Discussion Group Tackled The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”

Because tonight is the HBO premiere of the movie “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” -featuring Oprah Winfrey as Henrietta’s daughter, Deborah Lacks – I wanted to post about the rich experience I had four years ago with Rebecca Skloot’s book of the same name. At the time I was facilitating an adult literacy book…

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#Throwback Thursday: I Dream A World and Maxine Waters

“In fact, all of the women in this book have dreamed of a world not only better for themselves but for generations to come, a world where character and ability matter, not color or gender. As they dreamed that world, they acted on those dreams and they changed America.” Brian Lanker, excerpted from the Preface…

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Book & Author Feature: The Unhappy Wife by K E Garland

I subscribe to KE Garland’s blog, kwoted, where she always “keeps it real” by writing honest and thought-provoking posts about societal experiences, personal relationships and insecurities; how and why we celebrate holidays, being reflective, and finding inspiration in daily life. In 2015 she published Kwoted, a book of original quotes which “encompass advice and mantras…

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Half A Haibun: Naomi’s Story

Have you heard of haibun? Well, I’d never encountered haibun prior to becoming a blogger. Through blogging I’ve become acquainted with Mek, who shares her creative writing practice with readers at her blog, 10000 hours left. I love the way her writing makes me think about things in surprising ways. She has a gift for…

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Desert Rose: The Life and Legacy of Coretta Scott King

After seeing the photograph of the lapel pins in my post, Where Is The Love? Reflections on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I received a few texts and emails asking about the one of Coretta Scott King (1927-2006) that says Desert Rose. I am re-printing, here, a review I wrote five years ago (and posted…

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Where Is The Love? Reflections On Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

When we were children in the 1960s and 1970s, family who had migrated from the south to cities like Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago, and Indianapolis made annual car-caravan trips on the U.S. interstate to visit Alabama where our adult relatives had been born. For the kids it was an adventure riding in the backseats of recent…

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#Throwback Thursday: Upside Down Tapestry Mosaic History

Happy New Year to folklore & literacy readers old and new! Recently I’ve been going through my personal archives and found the first manuscript of original poetry (along with my original cover art) that I ever put together. When Broadside Press expressed interest in publishing my book, I decided to call it Upside Down Tapestry…

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Legacy & Social Justice Educator: Nevada Montgomery

“I ask you. What will your legacy be? Will it be the fact that you helped somebody along the way, during the time while you were here on earth? What will your legacy be? Will it be similar to the legacies left to our generation by people like Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass, John…

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