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Are We Better Off Divided?

The Gathering’s own Angela Simms, Ph.D., assistant professor of Sociology and Urban Studies at Barnard – Columbia University, is one of two panelists in the Veritas-sponsored Forum on politics in America, entitled: “Are We Better Off Divided?” The zoom webinar is scheduled for tomorrow night, Monday, November 30th, at 8 p.m. Register at this link, and… Continue reading Are We Better Off Divided?


In recent years, few images have captivated me more than that of Fearless Girl, a 50-inch bronze sculpture installed on March 7, 2017, in the New York Financial District. It was first placed in powerful juxtaposition to Charging Bull, by sculptor Arturo Di Modica, who sought to connote aggressive financial strength in the wake of the 1987 “Black Monday” stock… Continue reading Fearless

The Stuff of Miracles

“Even seasoned sailors on the boat panicked in the storm that fell on them like a drunken assassin. The forecast missed this one. Meanwhile, the One who could actually do something about it appeared comatose in the stern – who could sleep in this maelstrom? No one was thinking of leaving the boat this time…but… Continue reading The Stuff of Miracles

The Politics of Legitimacy

Looking at the post-election craziness, there is no question we are in a confusing, exhausting moral muddle of civic conscience. The current crisis is about political legitimacy. How many times since the election have you heard someone say that Joe Biden’s claim to the presidency is illegitimate? Or that the vote count was illegitimate? Or, dialing back… Continue reading The Politics of Legitimacy


“What if Beyonce was President.” “No wait, what if Oprah was President.” “No…I have a better one, WHAT IF DONALD TRUMP was President!” and we devolved into laughter. I remember this exchange with a few friends in Middle School – joking around, each of us with a more outlandish fiction on who we thought could… Continue reading PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN?

Friday Briefs: Women of color & culture shifting

To this day, women and girls disproportionately find themselves subject to the worst offenses of a broken world. So it’s worth reading Padma Lakshmi today on “how wide the ripples of impact can be when a woman of color is vice-president.” (NYT) Ms. Lakshmi, host and executive producer of “Taste the Nation” and “Top Chef”… Continue reading Friday Briefs: Women of color & culture shifting

Dear Parents: Do Crazy Things

Celebrating Veterans Day today, some of our nation’s veterans reflected on the role their parents played in their lives in the New York Times. I live on a block of rowhouses where three elementary school children play—our three-story homes all identical and built in the same year, 1875. Each home features layers of interconnected back porches… Continue reading Dear Parents: Do Crazy Things

Election 2020: It’s Bigger than Biden vs. Trump

Senator Kamala Harris is the Democratic Party’s nominee for Vice President. As a Black woman, I’m ecstatic about Harris’s breakthrough. As a sociologist who studies racial inequities and a former legislative analyst at the U.S. Office of Management and Budget during the George W. Bush and Barack Obama Administrations, my sanguine feelings are sobered by… Continue reading Election 2020: It’s Bigger than Biden vs. Trump

Why is it So Hard to Vote? Blame the Racism and Moral Cowardice of 145 Years Ago.

“Sir, it is no secret that there has not been a full vote and a fair count in Mississippi since 1875, that we have been preserving the ascendency of the White people by . . . stuffing ballot boxes, committing perjury, and here and there in the state carrying the elections by fraud and violence”… Continue reading Why is it So Hard to Vote? Blame the Racism and Moral Cowardice of 145 Years Ago.

For Such a Time…as This?

Over the last few months, newspapers have been full of stories of lives interrupted, trajectories overturned, hopes dashed in the face of the pandemic and the ensuing economic crisis. But I can’t help wondering if—even if in a small way–were we made for such a time as this? I ask you to consider the possibility… Continue reading For Such a Time…as This?

Post-Election Détente

I want to start by making it clear that I am a liberal.  I’m really liberal. Here is proof: I believe the United States should have universal healthcare, free for all Americans, financed by the government. I believe this very strongly and I talk about it a lot, so-much-so that a friend from church once… Continue reading Post-Election Détente

“Safety is Overrated”

This outrageous statement, made as I described to a psychotherapist friend an incident involving my 25 year old daughter, stunned me. Several days before on Belair Avenue in Northeast Baltimore, my daughter waited at a bus stop with a friend. A van approached, two men with ski masks emerged and ordered her into their car—an… Continue reading “Safety is Overrated”

Vaccines, Voting & Venom: Trump’s Toxic Trail of Anxiety

Anxiety is the serial killer of human maturity. I’m not talking about the kind of intense stress you experience when your house catches fire or you receive a fearsome diagnosis or the world is consumed by pandemic. That’s genuine, that’s present-tense, and it will produce a variety of responses ranging from denial (with toxic consequences),… Continue reading Vaccines, Voting & Venom: Trump’s Toxic Trail of Anxiety

Watch What You Say

As a race scholar in this current season of racial awakening for many White Americans, I am increasingly requested to speak to various groups about systemic racism, anti-racism, and other race-related concerns. Most of these talks are meant to help people engage in difficult discussions, or to help them understand some everyday ways to practice… Continue reading Watch What You Say

Worn but not Broken

Blackbird singing in the dead of nightTake these broken wings and learn to flyAll your lifeYou were only waiting for this moment to arise.” (J. Lennon and P. McCartney) I Am Tired. Tired of crying. Tired of being afraid. Tired of a President who calls on White supremacists to “stand by”. Tired for knowing that… Continue reading Worn but not Broken

Fitly Joined Together

On August 2, 1964 The New York Times published an article by Kyle Haselden entitled,  “11 A. M. Sunday Is Our Most Segregated Hour.” Haselden, a noted White pastor and then editor of Christian Century, asks a fundamental question that surfaces repeatedly in his essay, “As racial violence and the white backlash increase in the… Continue reading Fitly Joined Together

Lift Every Voice!

Lift ev’ry voice and sing‘Til earth and heaven ringRing with the harmonies of LibertyLet our rejoicing riseHigh as the list’ning skiesLet it resound loud as the rolling seaSing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught usSing a song full of the hope that the present has brought usFacing the rising… Continue reading Lift Every Voice!

Human Evil in the White House?

During the year leading up to the 2016 presidential election, I wondered how anyone might be drawn to an individual like Donald John Trump. From the beginning, something seemed deeply off. Five years later, as new material excoriating Donald Trump’s many misdeeds piles up at a rapid pace, new language—words like ‘malevolent, malignant and evil’—are… Continue reading Human Evil in the White House?

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