Blog

Part 3 – Them Damn Joneses

Anthony Bittner   •   May 19, 2022 “Hi. How are you? Is your mother’s name Roxann? Are you originally from Saginaw?  I’m writing because I am looking for an Anthony Todd Bittner.” That’s the message I got from an unfamiliar sender on a Tuesday morning in July of 2013.  And that was the day I’d begin a journey that would

The Controversial Court Case of Fred Korematsu — A Story of Exclusion 

Laura Marti – May 17, 2022 Fred T. Korematsu was a national civil rights hero, although we don’t often hear his story. He courageously fought for civil rights – as a Japanese American whose rights were taken away from him. His defiance led to a historic test of liberty and an infamous Supreme Court precedent that still looms over American

Creating Common Memory to Build Common Ground

Tracey McKee – May 12, 2022 I was reading through some of the posts on the Brownicity blog the other day, and I came across a quote in Erin Phelps’ November ’21 post that really resonated with me. In the post, Erin shared about reconnecting to her indigenous roots here in North Carolina. This reconnection to her ancestors’ community has

An Earnest Invitation

Dan Berry – May 10, 2022 Hey friends. For the last 30 years I have chased a dream God put in my heart about bridging divides that have plagued our country, communities, and churches. This dream brought a lot of people together from all walks of life.  We found ourselves in an ethnically and culturally diverse family. There was a

Healthy Responses When Our Kids Say That ‘Ethnic’ Food Is Gross

Michelle Ami Reyes •   May 5, 2022 My kids adore the Elephant & Piggie Book Series by Mo Willems.  Recently, we read one of their book installments called “I Really Love Slop.” In the story, Piggie excitedly tells her friend, Gerald the Elephant, that “pigs really, really, really, really, really like slop!” She holds up a big blue bowl filled

Looking for bridge building solutions?

Dan Berry – April 19, 2022 Hi friends! I am a certified instructor for two courses that I am offering this May! I would love for you to enroll and spread the word! ONE I will teach Dr. Lucretia Berry’s foundation building course, What Lies Between Us via ZOOM for five consecutive Tuesdays, May 17th thru June 14, 7-8:30PM CT (8ET/6MT/5PT).

Origins Part 2 – To Be the Change

Anthony Bittner   •   April 14, 2022 It wasn’t long after those first bits of exposure to the beauty of Blackness that I began to explore the world of policy and politics.  Prior to then, I was in no way politically or socially aware.  I didn’t really have my own thoughts regarding the issues or the parties.  I grew up

Standing on the Shoulders of Judge Constance Baker Motley

Laura Marti – April 12, 2022 Last week, I shared the excitement of seeing Ketanji Brown Jackson confirmed as the first Black woman justice to sit on the United States Supreme Court. Since then, it has brought so much joy to read accounts and hear interviews of the importance of her confirmation. I couldn’t be more happy for the many

Opal Lee, Grandmother of Juneteenth

Tracey McKee – April 7, 2022 I sadly admit that I had never heard of Juneteenth until I began to see press coverage of its being made a federal holiday last summer. For those who might be unaware as well, despite the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, some 250,000 enslaved in Texas were unaware they were

Another Hidden Figure: Real Estate Magnate Josephine N. Leary

Laura Marti – March 29, 2022 Feature image: The Duke University Digital Repository I recently walked into a Barnes and Noble with my husband. Truth be told, I’m not a big reader because I get discouraged that I can’t retain what I read, and my ability to sit down and focus has diminished as I’ve gotten older. So I don’t

Liberation Bound: Our Journey Toward Solidarity

 Afrika Afeni Mills •   March 24, 2022 My parents taught me to be aware and proud of my African ancestry. Although we did not know the specific African nations our ancestors had been taken from, I knew that Black History did not begin with enslavement, but with the brilliance, strength, and beauty of African empires and communities. As I continued

The Voice of Anna Julia Haywood Cooper

Laura Marti – March 22, 2022 Feature image: Public Domain Image Anna Julia Haywood Cooper (August 10, 1858 – February 27, 1964) was an American author, educator, sociologist, and speaker, truly one of the most prominent African-American scholars in United States history.  Her Early Life Anna Julia Cooper was born in Raleigh, North Carolina to Hannah Stanley (who was enslaved)

Origins – To Be Black

Anthony Bittner   •   March 17, 2022 I came into my Blackness late in the game.  As a child of mixed race who was raised by my white mother in rural Michigan, I had no connection to my Black father, my Black family, or Black culture.  As a result, it wasn’t something that I actively spent time thinking about.  It

Welcome, Neighbor?

Tracey McKee – March 10, 2022 My husband and I just moved this past week. Our daughters are grown, and it became apparent that we needed less house for just the two of us. While the move made perfect sense for us, I found myself sad at moments because our moving marked the end of an era in our lives.

Are the Lights Really On?

Dan Berry – March 8, 2022 Who would have ever thought that stepping into enlightenment, when it comes to racial understanding, could be a bad thing? That it could even be the very thing that causes us to stumble? Like most White people, I lived in darkness, devoid of any level of racial understanding for way too long.  When I

Hues of You – The Origin Story

Lucretia Berry  •   March 3, 2022 “Mommy, today at school, I learned that we are all shades of brown!” our preschooler announced at the dinner table. I perked up and leaned in to listen. She matter-of-factly explained, ‘Daddy is a little brown, you are really brown, and I am medium brown!” I was ecstatic! I could hardly believe it.  You

Women’s History Month Resources

Laura Marti – March 1, 2022 It’s Women’s History Month! To begin this month with a focus on women and the many contributions they’ve made, we want to provide you with a few amazing resources that you can explore for WHM 2022. The WHM websites have an abundance of resources, so dig in and let’s learn! ORIGIN AND CELEBRATION OF

Anti-bias, Anti-racism, Decolonized History & Social Studies in a Kids Magazine

Alexandria Scott – February 24, 2022 About 3 years ago, I had some experiences with my oldest daughter that helped cement for me the vital importance of an education rich with not just diversity education but anti-bias/anti-racism education and decolonized history/social studies – and that education needs to start early. As a Black mother, this had always been a strong

Hues of You – Cultivating Competence & Confidence

Lucretia Berry  •   February 17, 2021  (This piece is an excerpt from Hues of You – An Activity Book for Learning About the Skin You Are In) We constantly support early learning about colors by sharing facts, singing songs, and playing games. We enthusiastically teach our children the hues of the rainbow and point out the red bus, blue sky,

Three Black Americans Who Made History…

That I Did Not Know About Laura Marti – February 15, 2022 I’ve made an effort during Black History Month to learn about African Americans who are “new”  to me, and who have made important contributions to our country. It’s become a part of my antiracism journey, because I recognize they have not always been “seen” throughout our history, so

To Heal, Learn/Teach WHOLE History

Tracey McKee – February 10, 2022 I love history. I love to dive into history books, and when I have time for leisurely reading, it’s historical fiction for me. When opportunity presents itself, I love to travel to places on the map where you can walk the streets and see history, even touch it — restored buildings, cobblestone paths, ruins,

Voting Rights and the Black Women Who Have Fought for Them

Laura Marti – February 8, 2022 February is Black History Month, and as we reflect on the contributions that Black Americans have made throughout our history, I am inspired by the role of Black women in the voting rights movement. From Harriet Tubman to Ida B. Wells to LaTosha Brown, Black women have played a crucial role in the advancement

Common Ground Conversations on Race in America

by Emily Green •   February 3, 2022 It was a mid-December morning when we led the command staff of our local police department through their first “Common Ground Conversations on Race” Facilitation.  Something special was unfolding: police officers were leaning forward, listening, sharing their stories – describing why they chose this work, and what they envisioned community policing could look

Black History Is YOUR History

by Lucretia Berry  •   February 1, 2021  •   original publication: (In)courage.me (2021) When I was in elementary school, one of my teachers told us that Black Americans had not made significant contributions to our country. With this announcement, I was inundated with a sinking sensation of shame and embarrassment. Not because I believed my teacher’s lie, but because I knew how

I Will Not Be A Noisy Gong or a Clanging Cymbal

Dan Berry – January 28, 2021 Over the last several years, thanks to social media, we have discovered that just about everybody has an opinion that they can’t wait to share. Most believe that their opinions have validity — myself included! Ha! 😜 Something that I have learned over my journey is that just because an opinion has validity, or

Black Hair is Beautiful and Should be Celebrated, Not Shunned

Laura Marti – January 25, 2022 Feature Image: The Right Hairstyles | Instagram | @LYSSAMARIEXO For most of my life I had never thought about shopping for Black beauty products and had no awareness of the frustration it could cause to Black women — I was clueless.  When I first connected with Lucretia Berry around 2015 as she was starting

Brains and Beauty Dolls

Niya Dorsey – January 18, 2022 My name is, Niya Dorsey, and I am a wife, a doll designer, book author as well as the mother of a little girl named Malia, and a son named Jaylin. I am also the founder of Brains and Beauty Dolls business. At Brains and Beauty Dolls, we desire to promote education, encouragement, and

COVID-19: A Spotlight on Systemic Racism

Tracey McKee – January 13, 2021 2022 has arrived, and sadly, it arrived on the heels of Omicron, Covid-19’s newest variant. This latest strain of the virus was first detected in the US on November 22nd, and since then, we’ve watched as it has wreaked havoc across the nation and threatened the strides made toward our “returning to normal.” While

New Year’s Resolution? Or Time for a Refresh?!

Laura Marti – January 11, 2022 It’s the New Year! And it’s that time that people traditionally determine what their New Year’s resolutions will be. I think we’ve all experienced the initial excitement that we were going to do something new in the new year – tackle weight loss, change a bad habit, renovate the kitchen, resolve to be a

MLK Day – How it came to be

Laura Marti – January 6, 2021 In her article, As You Prepare to Celebrate Dr. King – Ideas for Moving Beyond the Dream Lesson, Dr. Tehia Starker Glass reminds us that there is so much more to Dr. King than his popularized ‘I Have A Dream‘ speech. One idea proposed by Dr. Glass, that piqued my interest right away is

As You Prepare to Celebrate Dr. King

Ideas for Moving Beyond the ‘Dream’ Lesson by Dr. Tehia Starker-Glass – January 4, 2022. Dr. Starker-Glass posted this article last year (2021). It was so helpful that we wanted to re-share it as you prepare to celebrate Dr. King this year We honor Dr. King every third Monday in January. But when we move beyond his I Have A Dream speech, what

Let Gratitude Launch You into 2022

Micaila-Ayorinde Milbourn-Thomas – December 30, 2021 When I was a kid, in Sunday school, I was taught that “God wants you to show that you love him by praising him and expressing your gratitude… for EVERYthing!”   At the time, I thought, “How arrogant —  to create stuff and then create people to tell you how great you are for creating

Calling all Bridge Builders!

Dan Berry – December 23, 2021 With all the intentional division being perpetuated in our world today, the Lord knows we need to find some people who will not rest until they learn how to build bridges that heal the wounds, until they find solutions! It’s not enough to convince yourself that you are on the side of right and

HOLY Holidays!😩

How to Embrace Wonder & Avoid Overwhelm Lucretia Berry, December 16, 2021. A version of this article was originally published at incourage.me (2018). Typically, this is the time of year that I most dread. As soon as the leaves exchange glorious green for the warmth of red, yellow, orange and brown, I reluctantly peek around fall’s corner to see Christmas

A Diversity of Dolls Can Help Children Learn to Be Antiracist

Intentional Gift-Giving for the Holidays Laura Marti – December 14, 2021 ‘Tis the season for giving gifts — and if you have young kids at home, you might be considering a doll. As I was reminiscing recently with my mom about my childhood, I remembered that I had two Black dolls, among my white ones. Was I remembering that right?

Voices I Need to Hear: Langston Hughes

Tracey McKee – December 9, 2021 Over the past several months, I have been reading the works of Black authors and poets.  Part of my reading has included Langston Hughes’ poetry.  Langston Hughes (1902-1967) is a well-known figure in American literature and poetry.  Accomplished as a playwright, novelist, poet, and more, Huges was a key figure during the Harlem Renaissance,

Setting the Thanksgiving Table for Common Memory with Native Americans

Land Setting or Land Acknowledgement Erin Phelps, November 25, 2021 A common phrase when meeting another Lumbee is to ask “Who’s ya peoples?”– as a way to reinforce a bond that goes beyond federal decrees and permissions about who is Native and who is not. This question reinforces a bond known as kinship — a common practice when considering who

Conservation & Environmental Justice

How Indigenous Peoples Can Heal the Land Laura Marti – November 23, 2021 There is a growing movement to return culturally and ecologically important lands back to their original occupants—the Indigenous people and local communities who had once lived there. In many cases, this means co-management in order to include Indigenous people’s direct involvement in the stewardship of the land,

Take Time to Reflect, Rethink, and Reach

Your Antiracism Education Journey Dan Berry – November 18, 2021 Hey Friends, In our curriculum, What Lies Between Us we are all expected to do a little homework. As information is shared, as knowledge comes, and I like to say truth is revealed, it can be unsettling. When our world has settled into our limited understanding of things and new

5 Ways to Self-Nurture/Repair

An Indigenous American on How to Avoid or Recover from Social Injustice Fatigue Kimberly Owen – November 16, 2021 Stress and mental health issues are on a rise from the effects of Covid. Also, we are colliding with overwhelming exhaustion from people who are working so hard on the front lines of social injustice and systemic racism. As an American