Author Archives: bryndisrob

Overcoming the Election Year Blues

I voted in my first presidential election in 1976. I  proudly cast my vote for Jimmy Carter for President.  I have voted in EVERY election (in which I was eligible to vote) since that time.  I have taken taxicabs and public transportation to my polling place; I have begged and cajoled friends and relatives to take me to my polling place; I have driven through blinding rain and other inclement weather to get to my polling place; and I have stood in very long lines to cast my vote (even when I had to wear a back brace to do so).

I have enthusiastically supported my favorite candidates with donations to their campaigns — with their bumper stickers on my car — with their yard signs in my yard — with their T-shirts as part of my wardrobe. (In the 2008 and 2012 elections, there were so many bumper stickers on my car that my friends (and a few frenemies) referred to it as the “Obamamobile.”

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“Doers of the Word” – Continuation of Book Discussion

Thank you for joining us for our discussion of the book “Doers of the Word”: African-American Women Speakers and Writers in the North (1830-1880) by Carla L. Peterson during Black History Month.  Because the book is full to the brim with thought-provoking passages, because it is about African American women, and because March is Women’s History Month, we will be continuing our discussion.  For more details, check out our earlier post that outlines the book discussion concept.

As a kickoff to this month’s discussion, I want to share (again) one of the quotes from the book that struck a chord with me.

The quote is from Sarah Parker Remond  and it addressed her ongoing struggle against racial prejudice and oppression in these poignant words:

In joy or sorrow, whether pursuing the pleasures or business of life, it [prejudice against colour] has thrust itself like a huge sphinx, darkening my pathway, and, at times, almost overwhelming the soul constantly called to meet such a conflict.

I have been blessed with many opportunities.  In the midst of those blessings, however, I find myself constantly battling the ever-present racial prejudice and oppression that I have experienced throughout my fifty-eight years on earth. 

As Remond wrote, there are days when the racial prejudice and oppression threaten to overwhelm me and to crush my spirit.  But like Remond and the other women who are the subjects of “Doers of the Word” and like so many other women of color around the world, I just “keep on keeping on.”

I invite you to join in the continuing exploration of “Doers of the Word” so that we may, collectively and individually, learn from the courageous women highlighted therein and develop our own strategies for overcoming not only racial prejudice and oppression but all forms of prejudice and oppression.

“Doers of the Word” – Chapters 5 and 6

Thank you for joining us for our discussion of the book “Doers of the Word”: African-American Women Speakers and Writers in the North (1830-1880) by Carla L. Peterson. If you are confused about this Black History Month segment, please see our earlier post that outlines the book discussion concept.

Doers of the wordCarla L. Peterson’s book – ““Doers of the Word”: African-American Women Speakers and Writers in the North (1830-1880) – is not for the casual reader.  It does not lend itself to speed reading or skimming; instead, it requires a commitment of time and effort on the part of the reader.  For me, however, the knowledge that I have gained is well worth the time and effort. Continue reading

A Little Less Self-Congratulations — A Little More Work

2016-02-01 18 09 10Earlier today the LDS Church’s Newsroom issued a news release entitled, “Effectiveness of Church Approach to Preventing Child Abuse,” which contained these statements:

The Church has long had a highly effective approach for preventing and responding to abuse. In fact, no religious organization has done more. Although no one system is perfect and no single program will work with every organization, the Church’s approach is the gold standard.

I take issue with those statements.

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The What, Where, When, How, and Why of Black History Month

Historical Background:

  1. Black History Month is celebrated during the month of February in the United States and Canada.
  2. The first organized observance of Black history in the United States occurred in 1926 and was called “Negro History Week.”
  3. Dr. Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History spearheaded the establishment of Negro History Week to highlight and bring attention to the contributions of Black people throughout American history, contributions that had been largely ignored.
  4. Dr. Woodson chose the second week of February because it included the (reported) birth dates of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln, two men whose lives had greatly impacted Black Americans and whose birthdays had historically been celebrated in Black communities.
  5. In 1976, as part of the United States Bicentennial Celebration, the United States officially recognized the expansion of Negro History Week to Black History Month.

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Remembering Coretta Scott King

It is right and proper that we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  His work, his writings, and his words made him a leader in the Civil Rights Movement and helped to secure the passage of federal legislation prohibiting discrimination in employment and public accommodations and guaranteeing voting rights.

However, as we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. King, I would urge us also to remember and celebrate the life and legacy of Mrs. Coretta Scott King, not simply as his wife or his widow, but as a strong and courageous civil rights leader and activist.

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Another Lesson in White Privilege

white privilege

A Facebook page called “The Good, the Chad, & the Ugly” shared this post today. When I saw it I felt compelled to share it with an added comment, to wit: 

Another day. Another lesson about white privilege. Will I ever complete this course? ‪#‎ComplexionfortheProtection

I then felt compelled to share some other thoughts.

When my oldest daughter was in kindergarten, her class would do a little chant/song at the end of the day to identify what they had learned.

The teacher would ask: “What did you learn at school today?”

The children would reply (in unison): “Sharing, counting, coloring,” or whatever they had learned that day.”

The children were eager to learn, eager to share what they had learned, and eager to return the next day to learn some more.

I, too, love to learn. I especially love the fact that I can receive all sorts of lessons and learn how to do all sorts of things from cooking to carpentry, from weaving to woodworking, and from sewing to sanding, all while enjoying the comfort of my own home.

There are some lessons, however, that I no longer need to learn.  White privilege is one of them.

Believe me, I know all I need to know about white privilege.  I can recognize it in all of its forms.  I can even recognize it when it masquerades as something else.  I can recognize it even when it does not recognize itself.

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