Month: June 2020

Lift Every Voice And Sing: A Q&A with Activist and Singer Abby Dobson

In this January 31, 2017 interview,  shortly after the Women’s March, journalist Angela Bronner Helm spoke with activist and singer Abby Dobson about protest, the persistent disconnect between women of different races and backgrounds, and the importance of amplifying Black women’s voices. In Abby’s words, we find powerful insights and calls to action that are relevant and necessary right now. The night before Donald Trump’s inauguration, two black feminist icons — Alice Walker and Angela Davis — spoke at the annual Peace Ball in Washington, D.C. offering two key messages about the intersection of art and activism. Walker revealed that the creation of art was one of her five tools of resistance. Davis noted that right now, “We need art, we need music, we need poetry.” Davis and Walker both understand the healing power of art, especially for women who feel under assault under the current administration. Jamaican-born Abby Dobson is a vocalist who carries with her both the activism of Angela and the art of Alice in her song. Dobson says she uses her gifts …

Two Old Friends on Growing Up Black and White in Lincoln, Nebraska

(Photo courtesy of Sara Gilliam) A few weeks before the 2016 election, we shared a conversation about race between Sara, a white woman, and Eric, a Black man, who had grown up as neighbors in Lincoln, Nebraska. In light of the many race-related horrors that have transpired since the election, including the present moment, we reached out to Sara and Eric to find out what’s on their minds. Their original conversation follows this update. What’s changed for me since we worked on this interview is that I no longer question my role in the movement. Years ago, I remember asking Eric, “Should I be posting ‘Black Lives Matter’ on social media?” I was afraid of co-opting the fight. I wanted to be respectful of the movement and acknowledge my privilege. I’ve learned a lot in the last few years. I recognize that to deal with the cranked-up racism and xenophobia perpetuated by the Trump presidency (but certainly by no means limited to rhetoric from the White House), we all have a significant role to play …

TueNight Live is Tonight! Get Tix

Hey TueNighters! Please join us 6/16 at 8pm for a fabulous night of interactive fun, stories and music for our first virtual TueNight Live! For those who haven’t been to one of our events in NYC now is your chance.  For this virtual edition our theme is High Anxiety and we’re turning things into an old-school, interactive variety show with storytellers, musicians and more on Crowdcast. Join host, Margit Detweiler and friends for an evening of fun, chat and true stories. Our guests include: Jill Sobule  — singer songwriter Tara Phillips  — writer, My Year on Mombbatical, educator, executive coach Kat Kinsman  — author, Hi Anxiety; Senior Editor Food and Wine. Robin Gelfenbien  — storyteller, founder Yum’s The Word storytelling  All proceeds will go the The Loveland Foundation, which provides therapy and healing support to Black women & girls. We hope to see you there! Margit

Depression in the Time of COVID-19 and a Lifetime Before

I’m afraid of my bed. When I landed in a major depressive episode at the end of last October, bed wasn’t exactly a choice. My legs suddenly grew heavy. Bed called as if I were being suctioned toward it. Although there was nowhere in particular I wanted to be, just anywhere else, I felt scared there. Bed was a place my chronically depressed father had always favored. Because I didn’t want to be majorly, chronically depressed like him, bed became a Rubicon. And I crossed it. From bed, I listened to the sounds of life being lived out of bed, beyond my room. Cars, the early morning train at six, runners, kids parading to and from school buses, and sometimes the cacophony my household made while I couldn’t connect with it during those weeks. The autumn air grew thinner and the leaves fell and were swept away. Far outside earshot, I understood people were busy. They were getting book contracts, getting new jobs, going to classes, going to work. I wasn’t. I could barely crawl …

Baldwin & Baguettes: A Mother’s Burden at a Distance

The worn cotton fibers of Emmanuel’s hoodie rubbed gently against my cheek when he went in for a final hug. “I love you, Mom”. “I love you too, Boo. I’m so glad I got to see you.” I marveled at the immensity of his shoulders and chest as he enveloped me in his arms. My baby boy had grown so big. Those moments —  his tender little arms wrapped around my neck and later, my legs — were long behind us. After a flurry of goodbyes between me and Emmanuel’s father, Raliegh, I stepped out into the brisk San Francisco air. This was my first official visit to their cozy little home, back in February, and I left with the reassurance that all was okay.  A year and a half prior, I had officially handed Emmanuel off to Raliegh. We decided it was his turn to do the heavy lifting of parenting while I made a life for myself in Paris — a move I made from Brooklyn. It was a major transition for all …

Self Care Tips When You Are Utterly Devastated

Watch Karrie’s video below. Shortly after the 2016 election, astrologer and wellness guide Karrie Myers Taylor penned this essay to address our collective post-election blues. And here we are, not four years later, utterly devastated again by the manifestations of white supremacy that are woven into the fabric of this country. We’re thankful for Karrie’s tips, but sure as hell wish we didn’t need them. Practice forgiving… yourself: Trump did not become President because you didn’t know enough or didn’t do enough about the presidential campaign.  Learn how to forgive yourself and move on.  Here’s a great book to get you started: How To Forgive Ourselves Totally: Begin Again by Breaking Free from Past Mistakes Turn off negative media: Choose two media sites that you trust and only read those.  Quietly stop following the Facebook feeds of friends and family who are sharing inciting media on their pages. Medicinal baths & body brushes: Take 30 minutes a week to soak in a steaming hot bath to get some clarity.  Add some magnesium flakes and essential oil, and be sure to …