Category Archives: race

Emmett Till — On this day in history, August 28, 195…

…Emmett till was kidnapped and murdered. In my latest collection of poetry, “The Black Blood of Poetry,” which I am shopping around, the title poem begins with the murder of Emmett Till. For those not familiar with poetic forms, “The … Continue reading

Posted in Lest We Forget, Murder, Politics, race, raising black boys | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Nineteen Sixties

I have written elsewhere about the “Decisive Decade,” a phrase coined by Samuel Yette, about the 1960s.  I found this poem, “SOS,” by Imamu Amiri Baraka, in The Black Poets, edited by Dudley Randall, in the section about poetry of … Continue reading

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The King is Dead — Long Live the King!

I can’t let this day pass without saying something about the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr! In the Decisive Decade (the 1960s), Black leader after Black leader was assassinated, but this is the assassination that made it into my … Continue reading

Posted in Black Shadows and Through the White Looking Glass, ezwwaters, Martin Luther King, Politics, race, Religion, Revolution, Streets of Rage | Leave a comment

National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month. Purchase and read one of my three books of poetry. My first, award-winning book, Black Shadows and Through the White Looking Glass: Co-winner of the Edwin Mellen Poetry Prize . . . this poem is … Continue reading

Posted in Black Shadows and Through the White Looking Glass, crime, ezwwaters, Justice Chronicles, Mother's Messages, Murder, NYPD, Poetry, police involved shooting, police-involved killing, Politics, race, raising black boys, Sometimes Blue Knights Wear Black Hats | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Amazing Grace of The Most Honorable Ketanji Brown Jackson

Two months ago I didn’t know who Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson was.  Today, the whole world should know her.  The whole world should be in awe of her amazing grace in the face of an unprecedented attack on a U.S. … Continue reading

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“Life Sentence”

In my post, “The Anatomy of Advocacy – In High Heels,” I mentioned how the successful advocacy of the Ad Hoc Committee on Lifetime Parole was a much longer, untold story.  This is another part of the story. In addition … Continue reading

Posted in being a teenager, crime, ezwwaters, Justice Chronicles, juveniles, Lest We Forget, Life Sentences, Murder, Parole, parole board, Politics, race, raising black boys, Reentry, remorse, Streets of Rage, urban decay, Urban Impact | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Anatomy of Advocacy – In High Heels

In 1998, the New York State Legislature passed Jenna’s law, named after Jenna Grieshaber, a 22-year-old white female nursing student killed by Nicholas Eugene Pryor, a Black male who had previously been on parole.  Governor Pataki exploited Jenna’s tragic death … Continue reading

Posted in crime, Justice Chronicles, Lest We Forget, Life Sentences, Parole, parole board, race, Reentry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

I’m Driving as Fast as I Can

Bell Gayle Chevigny is another woman I met through my work with PEN America Center’s Prison Writing Program (PWP).  She is also the editor of Doing Time: 25 Years of Prison Writing, an anthology of some of the best writing … Continue reading

Posted in crime, ezwwaters, Justice Chronicles, Lest We Forget, Life Sentences, Murder, Parole, Poetry, Politics, race, raising black boys, Reentry, Relationships, remorse | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Two White Sisters

One day, when we were kids, Mommy made a Pronouncement: “Today, you are going to meet your white relatives.”  I don’t recall meeting our white relatives (maybe I was traumatized), but I remember this pronouncement.  I was still innocent, and, … Continue reading

Posted in being a teenager, Black Shadows and Through the White Looking Glass, Family, Genealogy, Lest We Forget, Politics, race, raising black boys, Relationships | Tagged | Leave a comment

An American Odyssey

I like a good story, one reason why I like Greek comedies and tragedies, and I fancy myself a storyteller.  So, I’ll tell you a story. . . Once upon a time (1973), Governor Nelson Rockefeller of New York State … Continue reading

Posted in crime, ezwwaters, Family, Justice Chronicles, Lest We Forget, Life Sentences, Mother's Messages, Osborne Association, Politics, race, Reentry, Relationships, urban decay, Urban Impact | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment