Category Archives: Inequality

The Cement Angel and the Murder of a Child

Earl Varner’s Mother The old African American woman cried silently, spoke a sentence of two, sniffed and wiped her hands across her face, spoke another few sentences, and cried again. She repeated this as long as we talked. The woman, … Continue reading

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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

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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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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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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

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Ten-Gallon Crock

Electric Chair Helen D., an old woman with the booming voice, clasped her hands under her heavy breasts. “Geez, I was just a girl. I had four babies of my own at home, a sick husband, and all my brothers … Continue reading

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Prisoners and Peas

The Values of Her Mother Mary Robinson, an African American woman from Alabama, was 57 years-old when we talked in 2000. I was an oral historian, and my tape recorder ran on a nearby chair. Mary described a terrifying experience … Continue reading

Posted in African American, Distrust, Inequality, Injustice, love. mother, Poverty, poverty, Prisons, Racism, Social Justice, Uncategorized, white Americans | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment