Black Jamaicans or African Americans?

Someone on Facebook said that Kamala Harris isn’t really African-American because her black father was from Jamaica. Here’s a news flash. Blacks in Jamaica are descendants of slaves, just as blacks from Venezuela, Brazil, Barbados, anywhere in the Americas are, as well. Jeopardy the other night had an answer that said: 40% of all African… Continue reading Black Jamaicans or African Americans?

My Life in Dogs

It was a dogless childhood for me, until I was thirteen. I had asked. My sisters had asked. It wasn’t until our younger brother came home from school and said that somebody in his third-grade class was giving away a perfectly good dog and could he keep it? It happened so fast. I was at… Continue reading My Life in Dogs

A Corny Tale

(re-run) It all started with a post on Facebook, showing how your average American doesn’t know how to shuck corn. If you are from Iowa in the 60’s, then you know how. We weren’t well off. As a matter of fact, people would give us bags of food, like homegrown apples, tomatoes, or corn. Our… Continue reading A Corny Tale

Date with an Older Man

(re-run) I said yes. To a date. With a much older man. My girlfriend met him and didn’t approve. But she also said she wouldn’t dance with any guy she wouldn’t want to kiss. I dance with everyone – men, women, kids – many of whom I would never put my lips on.  Does dancing… Continue reading Date with an Older Man

Women, Race and Equality

It’s hot and smoky at the beach. Fires in Napa Wine Country rage on. Those poor people have had to evacuate every fall for the past four years. I searched for my sunglasses this morning but couldn’t locate them, so I walked the big dog in my hat but no glasses. I wore my N… Continue reading Women, Race and Equality

My Fake-Coffee Half Hour

(re-run) It’s funny how a person’s perception of what is good changes with the circumstances. I used to look forward to my can of Diet Coke every day until I reached my mid-forties. Then the stuff was too hard on my stomach, and I gave it up. I used to look forward to my cup… Continue reading My Fake-Coffee Half Hour

Black Jamaicans are African Americans

It was pointed out to me today on Facebook that people say the dumbest things.  Today it was that Kamala Harris isn’t really African-American because her black father was from Jamaica. Here’s a news flash. Blacks in Jamaica are descendents of slaves, just as blacks from Venezuela, Brazil, Barbados, anywhere in the Americas are, as… Continue reading Black Jamaicans are African Americans

Flat Feet

I turned on my laptop the other day, and the ever-changing screen showed a photo of waterfalls, big wide ones somewhere in Brazil. I’ve never been to Brazil, but I have been to Canaima, Venezuela, where there are seven wide falls and a resort below them. I was student-teaching with another Iowa Stater. We had… Continue reading Flat Feet

Doc and Lillian

When I was just out of college and teaching in a small town in Nebraska, I rented a refurbished farmhouse from the superintendent.  His dad was Doc. Doc’s wife was Lillian. They became my surrogate Nebraska grandparents. Doc used to be a dentist, and one day he presented me with a mood ring. Remember those?… Continue reading Doc and Lillian

The Navajo in the Room

My mother’s brother was a college professor at Shiprock College (now renamed Diné College) in New Mexico.  He met and married my aunt Grace, a Navajo woman.  This was exciting news in my all-white Iowa family. Uncle Jim was coming to town with his new bride. Uncle Jim was tall and slim, and had a… Continue reading The Navajo in the Room