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Mahogany Keys: The Complex Image of the African American Woman

When I started this series of interviews many cautioned me that black people would not want to talk to me. Wrong. As a matter of fact, after I started sending out emails, expressing my intentions to write about these issues, the positive response was overwhelming. To be honest, people of color talked to me a long time ago, in various workplace settings. I remember vividly one lady who was a nurse and who told me -- wiping her tears -- that she was refused work because some would not accept a black woman as a caregiver. Or, when we were showing puppies, I was asked by a visibly embarrassed woman if her biracial child was allowed to play with them. Many similar scenarios have haunted me for years. Black people talk to me every day, sometimes expressing themselves non-verbally. Actually, some of this “everyday” stuff is so heavy that I wonder...
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Mahogany Keys: The Complex Image of the African American Man.Part 2. The Black Man's Family

There is an old Romanian saying similar to, “It is only the dead who do not return.”  Indeed, in the aftermath of tragedy and life loss there is nothing we can do for the person who is no longer with us. However, there are many things we, both as a society or individuals, could do so Trayvon Martin’s death does not become yet another American racial crime. I have struggled with the idea of writing on racism in this country. For the past ten years I have been watching in silence, and have tried to listen to those who – in their best intentions – advised me to stay away from this particular topic. “Better stay out of it,” and I also heard, “Why would you care? It is not your problem.” There were other bitter personal experiences and labels that were attached to my person as well, just because I...
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