Preventing Another Charleston

The sickening, racist killing of nine black people in a Charleston church last night has me thinking about what might be a real solution to this now-predictable pattern. The mass murderer in this case fits the “quiet-loner-who-holds-extremist-views” (let’s shorthand that as QLWHEV) description, as per usual. The mass murderer is by far the most to […]

I’m Finally Starting My Voucher School

Back in the late 1990s-early 2000s, when I worked in education research at UW-Milwaukee, I was very fond of a professor in the School of Education named Walter Farrell. Walter and I had a running joke that, for us, never got old. Milwaukee’s private school voucher program was nearly 10 years old and requirements for […]

The River Has Two Sides

It’s taken me a while to tell you about what happened in Ann Arbor, the final stop on the first leg of the Meet Me Halfway book tour, because there was so much that happened that last day. Then it was the rush back home, the piles of laundry and bills, the fridge that needed […]

“Don’t Live Below 16 Mile Road”: A View of Detroit

We were supposed to sit with the Please Talk With Me About Race sign in a Detroit park. Michigan was our last stop on this leg of the Meet Me Halfway book tour and Detroit is the second most segregated city (or sometimes first, trading places with Milwaukee in any given year), so taking the […]

Attempting to Sleep in Benton Harbor

We are in Benton Harbor, Michigan, staying overnight in a motel to recoup enough energy to make it back to Milwaukee in the morning. I want to tell you about Cleveland, about Detroit and Ann Arbor. I want to tell you about Lucy and Lawrence, whom we met on the streets of Ann Arbor. There […]

They Didn’t Hang Around to Find Out

Here’s a brief portion of the lively conversation we had at Loganberry Books in Shaker Heights, just outside of Cleveland. This segment deals with the use of low school test scores as coded justification for racism and with the white flight that happened in one San Diego neighborhood that had nothing to do with schools. […]

Building That Rocket Ship

A few days ago, I shared a post about being out in front of the Nets arena in Brooklyn with the Please Talk With Me About Race sign. After an intense conversation with Donald and Crystal, two African American young adults, about a range of topics — media framing of protests, racial discrimination in criminal […]

Boston and the Bitter Truth

During the follow-up discussion at my Meet Me Halfway reading at the Mattapan branch of the Boston Public Library yesterday, one of the audience members suggested that we take the Please Talk With Me About Race sign to Boston Common. It was a beautiful afternoon to sit in downtown Boston’s central park and the location […]

Shooting for the Moon

Yesterday Keren and I sat in the sun outside the Barclays Center, the Nets arena in a busy corridor of Brooklyn. We positioned the “Please Talk With Me About Race” sign to face into the horseshoe of benches just outside the Barclays/Atlantic Avenue subway station. As in the other places we’ve used the sign, it […]

One Simple Thing About Baltimore

Keren and I were driving through Brooklyn yesterday, on our way from Philadelphia to the friend’s house we’re staying at in New York. Or, I should say, Keren was driving and I was trying to get the maps app on my phone (we’ve nicknamed her automated personality “Coco,” as in “co-co-pilot”) to give us a […]