Top 2013 Posts

It has been so much fun sharing my heart for racial reconciliation and socioeconomic understanding over this year. In a few days, I will publish my first post for 2014, but today I just want to look back through the posts that were most popular this year. I also want to thank you for all the public comments, personal emails, Facebook friends and twitter shout outs over the year. I am grateful. 

#5. Skittles & Iced Tea

As hard as I tried, I just couldn't get myself to see Trayvon Martin's death in isolation. In my mind I can see slave ships unloading black bodies like cattle. I see families torn from one another on the auction block. I see the terrified faces of black men desperately trying to out run a lynch mob. I see burned bodies floating above dying campfires. I see the hatred of students screaming at Ruby Bridges, and I hear the shot that killed Medgar Evers in his driveway. The image of Emmett Till and Trayvon Martin bleed into one face, one story. And as if these pictures of history aren't overwhelming enough, the faces of the men I love loom before me. If I could quantify the history of injustice in my own family, I wonder if the scales of justice would fall over. How many beatings? How many lynchings? How much police brutality? How many false accusations? How often has the fear of America overtaken justice in my own lineage? How many times did injustice crush the hearts and minds of the men who produced me? I probably don't want to know. But I wonder.  Read the entire post here. 

#4. For The Onlies

To the only Latino boy who must be present at the parent/teacher conference- the constant mediator, translator, teacher and learner. To the only Asian boy who must explain his "funny" eyes. To the only black boy already considered the mean one, the violent one. To the only First Nation boy who is laughed at for his long hair, who is asked to cut it off because it's distracting for others. To the only Middle Eastern boy whose place of worship was threatened last week, last month, last year.To the only multiracial boy in the class who has to explain his parents, his siblings, his family- even to adults.  May you know that your ability is a skill not a tragedy. May you reject the notion that different equals strange. May you create titles that you are comfortable wearing and throw away the rest. May you never apologize for being distracting, for perhaps that's exactly what's needed to break up the monotony. May you worship in peace. May your answers be simple and sarcastic and knowing...

To all the Onlies of all races, all colors all combinations who are quirky, colorful and constantly changing: may you find that you are not monolithic- that your version of 'us' is nothing short of brilliant. May you know that you are lovable, incredible, fearfully and wonderfully made. May you find special ways, among special people to let your culture breathe.  Read the entire post here. 

#3. Subtleties

[Patriarchy] thinks my ideas are truly brilliant, but only after being repeated by a man.  

It doesn't tell me I won't be successful, but it needs to protect me from myself because I am, of course, incapable of success without it. I am too emotional, trusting, and inexperienced to make it on my own. 

Here's the kicker, my complexion only complicates things further. I must also work around its whiteness, affluence, assumptions. I must hold my culture in tension. I'll bring that "black mysticism" to the table- the eternal prophetess of the Matrix, handing you all the foresight you need to succeed, but I won't go overboard. I  wouldn't want to make our largely white audience uncomfortable with my blackness.

So best not be too sing-songy, too loud, too outgoing. I won't talk directly about race or anything that might be code for race- you know words like "hip-hop" and "urban" and "collard greens"… really black things. I mean, who can relate to any of that?  Read the entire post here.

#2. Dwelt Among Us 

But the Word didn't turn away. Didn't turn away from that ragtag group of disciples, passionate but often completely misunderstanding the mission. Didn't turn away from men or women. Didn't turn away from Jews or Gentiles, even those most unholy Samaritans or those oppressive Romans. Didn't turn away from the sick or the afflicted. Even the dead received an audience with the Divine. The Word crashed through social barriers, religious convention, and everyone's expectations.  Read the entire post here. 

#1.  Song to My Sisters 

[Mary] spends three months in the safety of her female cousin and friend. As soon as the two meet there is rejoicing. Elizabeth does not condemn her, does not berate her, does not look at her sideways, does not ask her to outline her future plans…

Elizabeth exclaims to her, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!" That alone makes me tear up, but Elizabeth continues, "But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!" 

And when Elizabeth finishes, Mary launches into her own song!

Isn't that the beauty of what women can do for one another? In the midst of confusion and heartache, uncertainty and pain, women sing songs of affirmation, of presence, of joy, of hope and suddenly the way we see ourselves and our God changes. Suddenly we are favored. We can make it. God's promises can be true. I wonder how often Mary repeated the words of Elizabeth during her journey to Bethlehem and in the midst of her labor. The words of women carry us so far.  Read the entire post here. 

BONUS! There was one guest post I did in 2013 that was an honor to write, and received more comments and interaction than I've ever had! "Ask A Racial Reconciler" featured on the site of Rachel Held Evens:

Question from Suzannah:  What are some of the blind spots harbored by progressive sorts that hinder the work of racial reconciliation? 

There are two that drive me crazy. One is the assumption that there is nothing left to learn from those who are just beginning. Nothing will kill a conversation faster than someone who speaks like they have nothing to learn from others in the room. And it doesn’t really matter what color they are! Whoever comes into the room closed to learning risks ruining the safety in the room. They make vulnerability impossible for everyone else. 

The second are progressives who become so enamored with their progress in the conversation that they forget I can speak for myself. The danger contained in the word “ally” is the ever-present possibility that he/she will start speaking for me rather than creating space for me to speak for myself. Having an ally that doesn’t see a need for my voice to be present is in many ways of no greater help to me than a declared racist who doesn’t think my voice matters at all.  Read the entire post here. 


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