This year is ending and everyone I know agrees that is has been a shitty year. Maybe someone had a healthy baby or someone found the love of their life or someone else was healed of a crippling disease. Good things happened, no doubt. But mostly – at least among white cisgendered heterosexual Americans who have an ounce of awareness of those who aren’t – 2016 could really just go to hell and stay there. Those of us in our 50s watched our childhood icons drop like the possum on New Year’s Eve. The soundtracks of our youth screetched like a needle across vinyl. Which is what we had back before it was hip. Continue Reading →
If you have half an hour to kill (yeah, it’s kind of long), here’s the talk I had the pleasure of giving at Unity of the Blue Ridge on July 31, 2016. This was week nine of a 12-week series on The Twelve Powers, in case you’d like to learn more. Enjoy.
Through these last weeks of watching the Charleston massacre and Bree Newsome’s beautiful act of courage taking down the Confederate Flag and now our nation’s annual celebration of independence on July 4th, I have been reflecting on my own family’s American history.
Here is the story I have enjoyed telling since I moved to Asheville, NC, nine years ago:
My great-great grandfather and great-great grandmother took a train to these mountains from the eastern part of North Carolina in the 1860s and settled in Big Sandy Mush. My great-grandfather, Nicholas Arrington Collins, served in the Asheville Police Department and, as a young detective, gained some bit of local fame when he solved the Emma Post Office Robbery of 1901. He later became the Chief of Police for the APD. Continue Reading →