Author Archives: franleeperbuss

Which Side Are You On?

John & Viola Smith Bloody Harlan County In 1980 the immaculate old woman told me, “We sneaked out in the middle of the night. Just took the children and fled. Left everything and everyone I knowed.” Earlier Joanne, an activist … Continue reading

Posted in Appalachia, Inequality, Injustice, marriage, oral histories, Poverty, Social Justice, Uncategorized, Unions, violence, white Americans | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

God in Prison

“I Hollered at God” “I hollered at God,” Maria Elena told me as we began to drive my rental car towards the immigration office. Maria Elena continued, “Dear God, Where are you! If there is a God, where are you?” … Continue reading

Posted in hunger, Inequality, Injustice, Latino, Poverty, religion, Social Justice, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A Special Sense of Justice

Nine Thousand Poor Mexican Americans Outraged at the news, Rose Augustine and her best friend called a neighborhood meeting in South Tucson. They made coffee and handouts for 40, but 9,000 poor Mexican American lined up outside the door. A … Continue reading

Posted in environmental justice, Health care, Inequality, Injustice, Latino, Mexican Americans, Poverty, toxic waste, Women's Issues | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Geography of Hope

Memory I have a memory. It is of a friend so cut off from all that was accepted that she seems almost a breath, but she was important. I remember her face right as the tips of our breasts began … Continue reading

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“Dead Negroes in Swamp”

[June 7, 2020: This will add history to the events of the past two weeks.] White Mob Closes In Mary Robinson and I were writing a book about her life. The daughter of African American share croppers in Alabama, she … Continue reading

Posted in African American, farm workers, Injustice, murder, oral histories, Poverty, poverty, Racism, Roots of Injustice, Social Justice, Unions, violence, white Americans, Women's Issues | 2 Comments

God Smiled

The Child Who Spoke Poetry One moonless night, when we lived in rural New Mexico, I drove eleven-year-old Toni Jones home. As usual, she had spent the weekend with my husband, family, and me. It was a normal weekend. She … Continue reading

Posted in African American, Injustice, love. mother, murder, poverty, Prisons, Racism, religion | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Dilemma

Terrible Dilemma In May 1942, a young Japanese America woman, Mary Tsukamoto, was faced with a terrible moral dilemma. Should she help her desperate people in the short run when that meant cooperating with the government when the government was … Continue reading

Posted in farm workers, Inequality, Injustice, internment camps, Japanese Americans, oral histories, Prisons, Racism, Social Justice, World War II | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Death of the Black Doll

The Black Doll The sobbing African American girl hurled the black doll onto the ground and started to chop it with a hoe. The broken-hearted child, Mary Robinson, was born in 1943, the daughter of black sharecroppers. She grew up … Continue reading

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God Gave You a Big Mouth

Snake Running Loose The first time I visited Irene Mack Pyawasit, a Menominee Native Woman living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was in the early evening of one of the first days of spring in 1979. I drove into the alley of … Continue reading

Posted in Menominee, Native American, Native boarding schools, Poverty, Racism, religion, Social Justice, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Vision-Filled Eyes

Holy Mission I remember a specific morning. Lilly’s face glistened as she told me, “I got baptized in the creek when I was fourteen. God came down in a cloud and said, ‘Lilly, visit the sick and the afflicted. It’s … Continue reading

Posted in Appalachia, Health care, hunger, Inequality, Injustice, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments