All posts tagged: race

Michael Kleber-Diggs at July 13, 2016 Black Poets Speak Out event [credit: Tom Baker, MPR News, 2016]

Saint Paul Morning

By Michael Kleber-Diggs The author originally read this piece on July 13, 2016 at the Black Poets Speak Out event held in response to the shooting death of Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, MN. Learn more and listen to an excerpt from his reading on the MPR website.  Morning, walking my neighborhood I come upon a colony of ants busy at work. I take care not to step on any and miss them all, then encounter, up a ways, a fellow traveler greeting the day. I am frightening her.  No. She is afraid of me. Is she an introvert? Is she a neighbor? Is she just in from the ‘burbs, from the country? Is she scared of the inner city? Am I the inner city? Is she racist? Aren’t I the one who should be wary? Or is she a survivor – like me? It can’t be what I’m wearing: khaki’s, a blue & white check button-down, short-sleeve shirt, those Keen sandals I favor because they’re comfortable, my feet can breathe in them. You guys, I am …

Black man with rainbow flag

There’s no such thing as a safe space: Grieving after Orlando

by Irna Landrum This post was originally published on Daily Kos and is republished here with permission. I needed an updo. I have dreadlocks, thick heavy tresses now long enough to fall over my shoulders. I was going to be a bridesmaid in an outdoor wedding in New Orleans. In the summer. The thought of my locks touching my face and my neck and my shoulders and back while I stood smiling in steamy humidity was too much to bear. I needed an updo. At the recommendation of several of my dreadhead sistren, I found a stylist in the 7th Ward, drove to her through pouring rain, and waited more than an hour to be seen. I walked into the shop and saw locs and afros and braids being done. I heard the familiar Creole cadence of speech I’d grown up with. I was called darlin’ as soon as I walked in the door. There are no spaces like this in my current city, Minneapolis. This new place immediately felt like home. When homophobia slaps you in …

Snelling Avenue Green Line Station in St. Paul

30 Years A Minnesotan

by Walt Jacobs In the summer of 1986, I started an engineering internship at 3M. I was a kid from Atlanta spending the summer in the Twin Cities on my way to college in the fall. I grew up in mostly Black neighborhoods in the south so spending three months in the predominantly White Minnesota cities was quite an adjustment. In fact, the first time I walked into a McDonald’s my inner voice screamed, “There are White kids working at McDonald’s!” As the summer wore on I was shocked to see White and Asian folks in public housing complexes and was stunned when I could count the amount of Cadillacs I saw on one hand. Rear wheel drive is not practical for Minnesota winters! The first two times I was called “nigger” to my face were at Boy Scout camps. The third time was while sitting in a car at a stoplight on Snelling Avenue in St. Paul. I was on the passenger side with the window down; my colleague, a White intern from California …