DoReMI

Now a Michigander, by way of Ohio, Illinois, Scotland, Rhode Island, and Pennsylvania. Gardener. Sewer. Democrat. Resister.

VNV Tuesday – Speaking Their Truths, SOTU Edition 1/30/18

Does anyone want to predict what words would appear in a word cloud of tonight’s address?

Tonight’s the night, and I, for one, will either be locked in my sewing room finishing a project or sitting down to write a letter to my cousin (because some of us still do that!) The report on the state of the union may be constitutionally-mandated…

He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient

…but this is one instance where I wish the pre- radio and television practice of submitting a written report to Congress was once again the norm. In the past, these reports were often a recitation of the status of various government departments, as well as a Treasury update, and as a result, are rarely remembered in the same way as inauguration speeches. What follows is a random sampling from previous SOTU reports: some notable, some not, and some that should be.

VNV Tuesday: Lessons in Sausage-Making (h/t @JoyAnnReid) 1/23/18

It’s messy work, but somebody has to do it.

Last week was a writing drought; today I have too many topics to choose from. My final decision was made when I saw a tweet thread from Joy Reid*** that resonated with me, exposed my ignorance, and inspired me to dig further. This is going to be a bare-bones recitation of history that I never learned, but should have. I share it today as information, as well as an object lesson about persistence.

To quote Maya Angelou, “You may write me down in history with your bitter, twisted lines. You may trod me in the very dirt, but still, like dust, I’ll rise.”

VNV Tuesday – Speaking His Truth: James Baldwin 1/16/18

In a moment of semi-panic because I had no clue what I was going to write, I turned on the television in the hopes distraction would mitigate the writing block and lead to clear thinking. It was a serendipitous choice. Independent Lens on PBS was airing “I Am Not Your Negro”, based on James Baldwin’s last and unfinished manuscript, Remember This House. It’s been years since I’ve read anything by Baldwin, but the documentary reminded me of his eloquence and passion. When we have a crude, inarticulate racist in the White House, and toadies not only willing, but eager, to justify hatred through contortions and misrepresentations of history, it seems a good day to listen to James Baldwin. His truths still resonate.

Note: I have tried to use YouTube videos with a closed captioning option; though imperfect, the overall sense is generally intact.

VNV Tuesday: “What I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have.” 1/9/18

Fannie Lou Hamer, American civil rights leader, at the Democratic National Convention, Atlantic City, New Jersey, August 1964

I didn’t watch the Golden Globes on Sunday, but I have watched Oprah’s speech. For me, the line that resonated the most is the sentence used as the title of this post: “What I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have.” I was also gratified that Oprah recognized and honored Recy Taylor. Today I’m going to focus on another woman who spoke her truth, Fannie Lou Hamer, but instead of providing a bio and background information, which is readily found on the internet, I’m just going to let her speak.

VNV Tuesday: When We Center Whiteness, We Lose 1/2/18

The title of this post was not inspired by electoral politics directly; it was inspired by the passing of Mrs. Recy Taylor last week. As I read her story in a series of tweets by Danielle McGuire***, (author of At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance-A New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power), I realized I had never heard her story before. Over the past few years, I’ve been learning that’s a problem common to/in my whiteness; with white supremacy; with centering whiteness in our history and our media. I can’t solve this problem, but I can shine a light on areas lost to me due to white-centering. I suspect that many of you do not share my ignorance; from you I ask your forbearance as I provide very basic overviews of things which should not be new. For the rest, I invite you to share with me in exploring the fullness of our history. This post is intended to pique your curiosity, not provide a comprehensive history. Today’s focus will be on the Combahee River Collective.

VNV Tuesday – Lessons Learned: An Early Retrospective 12/19/17


For my family, the holiday festivities are over. We’ve exchanged gifts, shared meals, played together, and laughed much. So while most of you are still in a state of anticipation, I’ve moved on to the introspective part of the year; that fine tradition of the “year in review.” These are some of my lessons from 2017; please feel free to share yours in the comments.

VNV Tuesday: Alabama by the Numbers 12/12/17

I’ve never been to Alabama.  I have no family in Alabama (although my since-passed aunt and uncle retired there).  To the best of my knowledge, I don’t know anyone in Alabama.  Despite all that, I will be watching the returns come in tonight with bated breath and fingers crossed.  For those who are like me, with zero personal knowledge or experience of Alabama, I’m providing numbers and factoids to fill in some of the gaps.

VNV Tuesday – Preaching to the Choir 12/5/17

A Fourth of July celebration back in the day; we can still raise our voices today.

I’m not gonna lie…as I followed the unfolding of the Senate passage of the #GOPTaxScam last Friday night, I became so stressed, upset, and angry that I ended up throwing up in my kitchen sink.  I discovered a burning core of hatred within me which quite frankly frightened me.  As a result, I took the weekend off from politics, spent some time reflecting on whether hope was even possible, and re-centered myself by remembering my core values, which do not include hatred or violence.  What follows is the product of those efforts in tweet form.

VNV Tuesday: Giving Tuesday 11/28/17

Giving Tuesday is not just a marketing ploy like Black Friday or Cyber Monday. It was started six years ago:

Created by the team at the Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact at the 92nd Street Y—a cultural center in New York City that, since 1874, has been bringing people together around the values of service and giving back—#GivingTuesday connects diverse groups of individuals, communities and organizations around the world for one common purpose: to celebrate and encourage giving. A team of influencers and founding partners joined forces, collaborating across sectors, offering expertise and working tirelessly, to launch #GivingTuesday and have continued to shape, grow and strengthen the movement.

#GivingTuesday harnesses the potential of social media and the generosity of people around the world to bring about real change in their communities; it provides a platform for them to encourage the donation of time, resources and talents to address local challenges. It also brings together the collective power of a unique blend of partners— nonprofits, civic organizations, businesses and corporations, as well as families and individuals—to encourage and amplify small acts of kindness.

As a global movement, #GivingTuesday unites countries around the world by sharing our capacity to care for and empower one another. givingtuesday.org