Is this the land that welcomes all, but where few stop and stay?
The land that’s covered with thick, Black dirt, and where few seeds find their way?
Why, yes, this is the infamous land along the Mississippi River shores
Where many seeds do grow and find their way in this thick, Black, fertile soil
My favorite Black seed, the beautiful Poke, grows along the river’s aisle
It covers itself in Earth’s sacred layers and refuses to be defiled
It lives in this place that’s too oft ignored, but it thrives nonetheless
Poke is a prize for us who know that…
Meals make memories — The flavors tell the story — Let’s dine together.
March is Women’s History Month, a time where the contributions of women are recognized. This year, my family celebrated the month by paying homage to some of the best chefs: Edna Lewis, Leah Chase, Tonya Holland, and women in our family.
My husband, thirteen-year-old son, nine-year-old daughter, and I have not eaten in a restaurant since the COVID-19 pandemic began, but we’ve found a better alternative, themed family dinners. Each month, we plan and prepare a special dinner party, eat, and enjoy our time together. …
Third Street Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, led by Rev. Reuben J. Boyd, Jr., hosted a COVID-19 memorial service on March 14, 2021. A church member read the names of people who died during this pandemic year, and I wrote and read the memorial prayer.
For those who lost loved ones, I grieve with you and you remain in my prayers.
Thank you for your everlasting love, your eternal care, and your endless grace and mercy. Thank you for your omnipresence, even during this pandemic.
We come today mourning the loss of over 500,000 Americans and thousands more…
An early pandemic purchase I am happiest about is chicks. For many years, my twelve-year-old son asked my husband and me for chickens. He’d researched different breeds, ideal coup dimensions, and the best feed to give the chickens. He even prepared a slideshow and presented it to my daughter, husband, and me to show us that he was well versed in ornithology.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, when virtual school became an option for many students, I thought about my school-age family members in rural Arkansas who don’t have access to broadband internet service. Virtual school was never an option for them. For generations, access to education for Black, rural students in America has been an ongoing struggle.
When I thought about my school-age family members and their lack of access to virtual school, I also thought about the Jeanes supervisors who worked to ensure Black, rural students throughout the south had access to education.
I grew up in rural Drew County, Arkansas…
This week I watched “The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song,” a four-hour, two-part series from producer Henry Louis Gates, Jr. This four-hour special traces the 400-year history of the Black church in America.
While watching, I kept thinking about the most impactful part of my Black Church experience at Campground A.M.E. Church in rural Arkansas. Sunday School kept coming to mind. I thought long and hard about what institutions, outside of grade school, impacted my life the way Sunday School did, and I couldn’t think of anything. …
Grief is universal, but how we grieve is not.
About ten years ago, I entered the hospital room of one of my good friends. She lay in the bed, beautiful, radiant. Her new son lay on her chest, and he felt his mother’s love, outside of the womb, for the first time. The energy in the room and the bond between my friend and her beautiful baby brought me joy.
Shortly after I entered the room, one of my friend’s fellow church members visited the new mother and her son. She introduced herself, and we exchanged pleasantries. The new mother…
“They ain’t making no mo’ land, so hold on to what we got.” These are the wise words my late father often shared with me. I promised him that I would do everything I could to ensure our little piece of land in Arkansas is not lost. Land ownership is an integral part of my Black and rural story.
Unfortunately, land and farm loss is a significant problem in America. Of the one billion acres of arable land in America, only about five million acres are Black-owned. Institutionalized racist policies such as the Homestead Act of 1862, the denial of…