Not long after the elections in November, I was lucky enough to attend the Facing Race conference, to write about it for Z Magazine. It was such an energizing experience to be with 1,400 racial justice activists in Baltimore, that even now - into the New Year - I still feel the glow!
I worked hard on this piece of journalism and if you read anything of mine this year, I hope it is this one.
By the way, the photo above is of me with the video-blogger Jay Smooth (I'm a huge fan) and the comedian W. Kamau Bell (catch up with his FX show "Totally Biased" if you missed it.) I also have photos below of the brilliant keynote speaker Junot Diaz (credit Janet Mock) and of the great MCs Deanna Zandt and W. Kamau Bell.
As I age I find that my patience for people wanes and whether or not I expect the worst from them, I'm sure to get it. At Facing Race, however, I had the opposite experience: all those people in one venue and not one of them seems like a fool. It was like drinking from a fountain of political health to be surrounded by folks who put their lives where their mouths are. To be in such a relentless three-day environment and never once hear a statement that I find offensive is like being on vacation. Among the attendees from hundreds of front-line non-profits and activist groups, there was a remarkably sophisticated set of shared assumptions about the interconnectedness of race, class and gender. The bottom line was such a high level of economic and social criticism that the conversations soared.
I learned so much and I hope I have conveyed some of that in my article, which you can read here.