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What Does Racial Unity Look Like? It Looks Like Oakland.

This weekend in Oakland, Calif., violence led to unity.  “More than 500+ crowd in Madison Park, a beautiful multiracial, multigenerational, multi-faith rainbow of folks speaking against violence, including the violence of poverty, deportation, criminalization, and institutional, systemic oppressions.” wrote activist Helen Zia on Instagram about the Feb. 13 Love Our People, Heal Our Communities rally.  Hosted by a coalition of …

lynda lin grigsby

Stop Asking Me If I Am The Mother Of My Biracial Children

My daughter’s hair cascades below her shoulders in an ocean of curls. I like to rake my fingers  through it to fluff it up into a gravity-defying pompadour. It is a mild obsession, mostly, because it is so different from my stick straight hair.  To draw her own self-portrait, she always uses the Burnt Sienna crayon to make curlicues around a …

How Do We Decide What Traditions Are Real?

That’s the funny part of human memory and traditions — we all believe what we want as inalienable truth. During the holiday season, especially, our daily lives can get consumed with habits and traditions passed down from our parents and grandparents. In the intersection of memory, manufactured traditions and commercialized holidays, how do we decide what traditions are real and worthy of carrying on?

To Raise a Mockingbird

A mockingbird family set up residence in our lime tree next to the kids’ toy room. We noticed it while building an elaborate marble maze.  “Mom, look!” said Seven, my energetic boy, while everyone else was busy watching the silver marbles slide down the loops and turns. “That bird in our lime tree has a worm in its beak!” In …