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Award-winning Black writer from the Deep South with roots in newspapers, talk radio, and major-market TV news.

Don’t answer till you find yourself unexpectedly in bed with a beautiful stranger.

Choosing between love and the principles you live by may seem like an easy decision in theory. But what if you found yourself in an unexpected situation? What would happen to your principles if an opportunity outside your pre-established rules suddenly presented itself to you?

What would you do if no one was looking? And would your decision mean anything in the greater scheme of things?

The last thing I expected was to find myself grappling with these questions when I kicked back with a glass of wine to watch a movie last night. But that’s exactly what happened. …

What a fine and inspiring essay. I was introduced to the stoic philosophers as a college freshman. At 18, much of their wisdom went right over my head. Later, after more life experience, I began to value their lessons and learn from them. It's always good to be reminded of the truths you point out in this wonderful article. Thanks for writing it.

By the way, regarding the money your relative scammed from you, there's an old saying: " Bread cast upon the waters will come back to you after many days." You gave with a good and generous heart. That's the main thing. This goodness will come back to you, perhaps when you least expect it, and may very well be magnified.

The natural two-week arc between Juneteenth and July 4th should be celebrated like the Christmas holidays.

Photo of American flag partly screened by the words “We the People” and the opening articles of the U.S. Constitution.
Photo of American flag partly screened by the words “We the People” and the opening articles of the U.S. Constitution.
Image by cgrape from Pixabay

The truth is, we didn’t think about slavery very much when I was growing up. Didn’t talk about it too much, either.

Every once in a while, Aunt Maxine would change the lyrics to Disney’s Davy Crockett theme song, calling Tennessee the “meanest state in the land of the free” instead of the greenest one.

But my mother shushed her when she said things like that. Neither of my parents wanted our minds poisoned by America’s past sins before we had a chance to figure out who we were, got ourselves grounded.

Slavery was off the radar

Except that my mother instilled in us a…

Wisdom on the art of loving from Maya Angelou, Anton Chekhov, and an island love affair with lasting lessons.

When Maggie loved me, she stood alone at the end of a pier looking out across the black water. It was warm that first night on the big island at the far end of the archipelago.

The moon was a thin slice of cantaloupe low in the sky. It did not cast enough light to see very far. But there were twin rows of footlights along the pier. The harbor lights rising on the hill behind her gave shape and movement to the gently lapping waves beneath the pier.

She wore a gossamer skirt of many colors and a solid…

Life | Pandemic | Travel

How a Dying Woman Became a Lasting Reminder of the Importance of Human Connection

It is one of those nights when the commute between Seattle and my so-called home in the San Juan Islands feels more like punishment than reward. Long day, long drive, long boat ride. I’m working harder than I want at a job I dislike to maintain a bourgeois veneer I don’t even believe in. It is already dark when I reach the ferry landing feeling not so much dead inside as…neutral, on hold.

To get here this evening, I drove north on Interstate 5 from the University of Washington, left the freeway in Mount Vernon, and headed west on Highway…

Nor is this a new phenomenon. It's at the root of anti-Black policies going back to Reconstruction. It's long been documented that the wealthy ownership class is the real enemy of working-class Blacks and whites. Their shared economic interests could create a sea-change in their quality of life, as well as their political and social status.

Fearful of this, racist politicians financed by big money realized during Reconstruction that the only way to prevent a social revolution that might reverse the flow of wealth was to sow seeds of racial hatred. Make the white man believe his lot would be…

It's always a pleasure to read your work. I think you can take Dillard's comment at face value. She's telling the questioner that if he doesn't like sentences, he should not be a writer. Because writing is all about sentences.

Sentences are what a writer paints with. They are how you create and evoke the world. Especially if by "writing" one is talking about art. Or at least some effort to approach it.

A writer makes a good thing and possibly a lasting thing by making good sentences one at a time. The same way one makes a good house…

This is so true. I love Annie Dillard's work. I've recently been rereading "Living by Fiction," which I had to read in grad school. One of my favorite lines in the book is her response to someone who asked her, "Do you think I should become a writer?"

"I don't know," she said. "Do you like sentences?"

You've built quite an archive here, Zul. Congratulations. I look forward to catching up with some of the stories I may have missed.

Terrific piece that's explained plenty about what's been happening with followers. I completely agree with you about the relationship between followers and reads. What you say here rings true in every way. Thanks for writing it. Bravo!

This is a wise and wonderful piece. I'm so glad I discovered it after a hiatus from Medium to complete a short novel. Nothing is more helpful than hearing from someone who's "been there" and is kind enough to share her experience. What a generous offering. Thanks so much for writing it.

Andrew Jazprose Hill

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