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To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment. Ralph Waldo Emerson said it; I believe it.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Great Expectations

Thanks to the good folks over at Electronic Village for posting this story about missing 5-year old Hasanni Campbell. His story caught my attention because he is a foster child and he probably has a lot to offer the world, but like so many foster children, he may not get the chance. As EV asked, so do I: please keep young Hasanni in your prayers. If you have information about his location, please contact the Oakland, VA authorities at 510-238-3641.

Also, please keep ALL foster children in your prayers - from babies to 18 - they need our prayers and they need our action. For my part, I plan to take a more active role in Great Expectations and other programs that support foster youth as they make the transition from youth to adulthood, where so many fall through the cracks (again). Anyway, that's my post for today.

BWT - my son's reading list is coming along very nicely. He did it himself - thank the Lord for the world wide web and libraries!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Made in L.A.

Still working on my son's reading list...but we did have a mini foreign language & government lesson courtesy of PBS' Point of View series this evening. The documentary film "Made in L.A. was an eye-opener for me and my son; the story follows a group of undocumented immigrants in Los Angeles' garment industry over three years. These individuals (mostly women) worked in sweat-shop conditions for a Forever 21 subcontractor; they were paid far below the state minimum wage, and in many cases worked without pay. More details about the conditions in the factories can be found here.

Although it took three years and a great deal of courage and persistence, the garment workers were eventually successful in negotiating a settlement with Forever 21. My son was especially please with this outcome. But he took away something else from this documentary; one of the key characters made a statement "I am ugly" and my son said, "she is not ugly, she probably just feels that way because when you are mistreated so long, your self esteem is taken away and you think you are ugly." He also said that I don't need to shop at Forever 21 (or any other clothing store) anymore - I have enough clothes and shoes...

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Reading list

I am supposed to be developing a reading list for my rising 8th grader. We are doing the home-school adventure this year and I want to make it just that - an adventure in learning. But of course, in the process of getting the book list together, I was tempted by my own book list, and now I am in the middle of re-reading one of my top-shelf favorites Bebe More Campbell's "What You Owe Me".

This book (like many other second and third and forth time around reads) has broader meaning to me now, given what I've been exposed to in the last few years, and what America in general is having to come to terms with because of our past colliding with our present. The book spans three generations and as many races, to tell the tale of what happens when humans hate others because of physical differences, and how that impacts so many lives down the line. If you haven't read the book, I highly suggest that you do. It is not a history lesson (it may very well be a herstory lesson, but even that might be a stretch), but it is story that has so many well-developed characters that you can't help but learn something from their lives.

I hope I can find some books like this for my son's reading list...

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

It's been a long time...

But I'm still here! Still working on my dissertation...completion timeline has been extended a bit though (May 2010). Today's post was inspired by Naomi Sims - widely credited with being the first black super model. I did not know of here, but when I saw her photo, I had to post it here. Hats off to a lovely lady who represented so much to so many lovely ladies.

Coming in the near future, I HOPE to blog more regularly...I will be adventuring into home-schooling with my 8th-grade son, so that should provide plenty of blog-worthy notes. Until next time!