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Strength: A Reflection on Stories, Wisdom, and Power

Strong? What does it mean to be strong? Delilah beguiled Samson, lay with him, and when he was asleep, she cut his hair. When the deed was done she called to him, “Wake up Samson, the Philistines have come!” Without his hair, Samson had no strength and the Philistines...

Telling For Sixth Graders

February is always an exhausting month for me. My running joke is that even people who didn’t know they needed a performer of any kind suddenly need a black one in February!   I work with all kinds of audiences. Sixth grade is one of my favorites.   Sixth grade is...

Where Did January Go?

It is the last week of January, and I am already behind. Only two blog posts this year? Really? Spent about seven days this week ill. Nothing debilitating, you understand, just sore throat and more mucus than any one person ought to have in their body. Oh, and it...

White For A Black Girl

My son is nineteen. He does not drive. ….The first time my blackness was challenged was by black children in Beaumont, Tx. I went to school with lots of military children. They were every hue and from every corner of the world. We didn’t know the world we were part...

Thoughts About Storytelling To Start 2018

We made it to 2018. More shows, more writing, more teaching.  I found myself in two conversations this week about the nature of storytelling. I thought I’d share some of the observations.   Q: What is the difference between being a storyteller and being a comedian? My Answer: Comedy...

Last Day of Kwanzaa! Imani – Faith

Darith lighting the Kinara – Photo by Kat Heller Habari Gani! Imani (i-mah’-nee) – Faith.           Last night we had a Karamu – Our celebration. Here are some more pics from that. Thanks to our neighbor Kat Heller for taking some photos! The last day...

Kwanzaa Day 6 – Kuumba. Creativity!!!

      Habari Gani? Kuumba! It means creativity!             We must strive to leave the world a more beautiful place than we found it by using our creative gifts. This is my favorite day of Kwanzaa! It is also the night of Karamu...

Kwanzaa Day 5 – Nia – Purpose

      Habari Gani!     Nia (nee’-uh) – Purpose. We must live our lives with purpose. We must have goals and aspirations. This is the only way we move forward. This year I got one step closer to being a novelist. This year my son started his...

Kwanzaa Day 4 – Ujamaa – Cooperative Economics.

Habari Gani?   Ujamaa (oo-jah’-mah) – Cooperative Economics.     Ujamaa means that African Americans must strive to open and maintain businesses. This also means that African Americans should patronize African and African American businesses. My family embraces all local small business. We patronize small bookstores, locally owned restaurants...

Day 3 of Kwanzaa – Ujima

  Habari Gani!     Ujima (oo-gee’-mah) – Cooperative Work and Responsibility. We must work together to make our families and communities strong. We are responsible for ourselves and we are responsible to our communities. What incidents of Ujima did you encounter in 2017? – I put up a...