Un pueblo invisible

Cuando alguien protesta #BlackLivesMatter con comentarios de odio o con la falsamente igualitaria #AllLivesMatter, me acuerdo con tristeza como por muchos años de mi vida, las vidas de la gente de color realmente no nos importaban. La ciudad de Wichita Falls, Texas, no odiaba a los negros. Muchos profesábamos admiración por Sammy Davis, Jr., Mahalia... Continue Reading →

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No los odiábamos

Nota: Hay cosas de que nunca hablamos. Sencillamente las sabemos, o así creemos. Nadie tuvo que sentarme para decirme que las vidas de algunas personas valían menos que la mía. Lo sabía sin que me lo dijeran.  En el borrador, usaba la palabra Nigger, porque es la palabra enterrada en los recuerdos de mi niñez.... Continue Reading →

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We did not hate them

Note: We don't talk about cultural assumptions. We just know things, or think we do. No one ever sat me down to tell me that some people’s lives didn’t have as much value as my own. No one had to sit me down and tell me. I knew. As I wrote the draft, I used... Continue Reading →

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Insidious Invisibility

When #BlackLivesMatter is countered with hateful slogans of the faux-egalitarian #AllLivesMatter, I recall sadly how, for a good part of my life, Black Lives really didn't matter. Wichita Falls, Texas, didn't hate black people. Many of us even kind of liked black people. We expressed our racial bias in a manner even more insidious than hate or aggression. We simply didn't see black people. The evidence of this is in vintage issues of my hometown newspaper: the lack of evidence of any black population at all.

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Worshipping with Elvis

I knew that Elvis Presley, whose fame was built mostly on blue suede shoes, shocking dance moves, bad movies, a sexy sulk, and the drug-and-food induced glittery, sweaty end of his short tragic life, had made a few little gospel recordings, a nod to Pentecostal nostalgia. I didn't know until today, browsing the dangerous portals... Continue Reading →

Cadillacs, Diamonds, and Medicaid

She had a Cadillac when she went on Medicaid. It was the last of many luxury cars she had owned.  She wore a mink stole and two or three of her several diamond rings when she went to church.  Her house was fully paid for and furnished with all the luxuries that she wanted. She... Continue Reading →

La Llorona

Stories of mothers who kill their children, whether news reports, fiction, or myths and legends, awaken our primordial fear of all mothers’ power over their children. The unquestioning and unavoidable trust of an infant for the mother can be terrifying to a grown-up child who realizes that his own mother should not have been trusted... Continue Reading →

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