Dreamed Equality: NaPoWriMo#7

The Beauty of “Different” and What I Learned From It

Growing up, I was encouraged to have friends of various races and ethnicities

Community art in Greensboro, North Carolina. Photo courtesy of Tremaine L. Loadholt

I was fortunate to have grown up in a household with a mother who welcomed all my friends. No matter their race, creed, ethnicity, or culture, the people who drew me near to them found a home in our home because of my mom. And since my father and later, my stepfather, agreed with her stance, by default, they welcomed them, too.

I had Black, Mexican American, White, Thai, Chinese, Japanese, and Puerto Rican friends. Boys and girls alike ran up and down our stairs. My mom, on her happiest and most sober days, cooked for us. She would serve our favorite fatty foods around dinnertime, and if a few of my friends wanted to spend the night (weekends only), she’d reach out to their parents and seal the deal.

I was aware of our differences, but they held no weight when it came to love. I had a responsibility in my pre-teen and teenage years, and that was to love everyone. If I showed even an inkling of hatred or a small amount of disdain toward anyone, I had my mother to answer to. Trust me, I wanted no parts of her when she was angry. So, I walked the straight and narrow. I appreciated being able to befriend anyone and learn to love them, too.

No matter their race, creed, ethnicity, or culture, the people that drew me near to them found a home in our home because of my mom.

Me and Susan, so many years ago. Savannah, Georgia. Photo courtesy of Tremaine L. Loadholt

I have held some of these friendships for fifteen years or more. I’ve watched these beautiful people get married, have children of their own, and move through life with the gusto and persistence needed to tackle anything coming their way. I am so grateful for constant reminders of embracing “all God’s children” and carrying this info into my adult years.

Me and Theresa (I love to hear her oldest daughter say her name: “Te-Ress-ah.” It’s beautiful.). Atlanta, Georgia, 2016. Photo courtesy of Tremaine L. Loadholt

Even if we haven’t seen each other or been around each other physically, we remain in contact with one another. The beauty of technology these days is an intriguing thing. I can swipe a few words into the text message screen of my cell phone, click send, and communicate with all of them in moments. This beats our older ways of communication, which included the cord or cordless phone, letters, and a hop, skip, and a jump over to each other’s place.

Me and Vic being our silly selves. Atlanta, Georgia, 2016. Photo courtesy of Tremaine L. Loadholt

I see my friendships as stepping stones into a blissful life. These beautiful people have seen me at my worst and love me just the same. We’ve had our debates, arguments, and extreme disagreements, but we’ve pulled through and came out unscathed. If I can appreciate the word different and what it entails, I am sure every human being in America can learn to do this. I don’t think we’re meant to be each other’s enemies.

I don’t believe we’re meant to stand for purposeful things alone. It is my understanding and unmoving stance to stand together and rise together, too.

I am so grateful for constant reminders of embracing “all God’s children” and carrying this info into my adult years.

What we must do is shake whatever harmful actions and thoughts buried deep within us and move forward to a positive outcome. I would love to embrace everyone, no questions asked — no research performed, but during these incredibly divided times, that would not be wise.

I have to be smart in knowing who I can turn to and why. I also have to be as equally smart in those I seek to make allies. They must be equipped with the knowledge of striving for equality by any means necessary. Solidarity should be as close to them as the color of their skin.

If a girl raised in the deep South, brought up by a woman with a fierce love for all people, can love the differences in anyone she meets, surely you can, too.

Start today. It’s never too late.

Originally published in Our Human Family as a response to the Finding Gratitude Prompt via Medium.

Please, Let My Brothers Live

A plea to the United States Justice system

Photo by nappy via Pexels

As an older sister, one who is significantly ahead in years, I fear for the lives of my five brothers. That fear never dies. It lingers in the pit of my belly — boiling over into a never-ending pain. I worry about them; their well-being is a constant focus of mine. I pray, without ceasing, worry, and then pray some more.

I know, as a believer, I am not supposed to worry. Once I’ve given my cares over to my Lord and Savior, those worries are not my own. But tell that to my heart. Tell that to my questioning mind. Tell that to the constant survival strategies that pop up throughout every day as I think of ways to keep them safe from afar.

Our lives are meaningless to the ones meant to protect them.

There is a long list of dangerous encounters and acts of police brutality that layers itself in and around the United States of America. We are losing brothers, sisters, and valuable members of our crumbling nation. The louder we scream in protest for change, the more we are muzzled.

I cannot watch many of the videos that have circulated, leaving us with the vivid details of some of these acts, but I can read about them. I feel a sense of incredible loss when I do.

We depend on a system that claims to act upon evidence presented and provide a favorable outcome. One that is justified. One that states those responsible for these heinous crimes will be dealt with accordingly. However, the system is beyond broken.

Justice is a concept of moral rightness based ethics, rationality, law, natural law, religion, equity and fairness, as well as the administration of the law, taking into account the inalienable and inborn rights of all human beings and citizens, the right of all people and individuals to equal protection before the law . . . — ScienceDaily

For generations, there has been no justice for Black people and people of color. 2020 will be over in four months, and the United States of America is dealing with the same issues that quelled the love for our nation back in the 1950s-1960s. We are struggling to have our voices heard. We are fighting a forever-fight and we are growing tired.

This is the same fight and we’re outnumbered.

I think of everyday occurrences, events that my brothers take part in and I start my prayer with, “Dear God: cloak them in your love. Please keep them safe in their coming and going and let them find their way home when their day is done.”

I know they’re aware their sister has been praying for them since their births, but now I pray because it feels like there is nothing more to do. We march. We organize peacefully. We shout. We speak eloquently. We fight harder. And to no avail.

We are struggling to have our voices heard. We are fighting a forever-fight and we are growing tired.

This all feels like some god-awful dream that plays on a loop, and no matter how hard I try to break free from it, I’m shackled with nowhere else to go. I am being forced to watch the demise of my people and made to fear for the Black men and women in my life.

I want to believe their lives matter just as much.

I have to. Deep down, I know there’s a priceless value to human life. I want to feel like my brothers’ lives matter just as much as their white counterparts. I want to believe that when they set out on a journey around their neighborhoods for whatever reason, they too, will get a chance to go back home . . . alive and unharmed.

Given the history of various police forces across this nation since their inception, I fear more for my brothers’ lives than the actual protection of them, and that should not be.

How many more will America maim? How many more will we see hanged from trees by the hands of their evildoers, then labeled as suicide? How many more cases will the courts treat as meaningless, pulling their weight for the killers vs. the victims? Will we ever have justice?

I want to feel like my brothers’ lives matter just as much as their white counterparts.

There have been so many tears. So many cries for help, understanding, and for our voices to be heard and still . . . there are no impactful results of which to speak.

I hope that if ever there is an encounter soon with “the law” for any of them, they will be protected and served. That there will be no immediate or long-lasting harm. That their character is assessed and the situation for which an officer has stopped them, would not end in their deaths.

I have one plea, please let my brothers live.


Originally published in Our Human Family via Medium.

come, there is no more peace here . . .

Painting Wallpaper
Art by Steve Johnson via Unsplash

come, there is no more peace here . . .
not even if you hold your breath
and cling to the idea
that one day soon or in the
distant future, it will reappear.

it has taken leave, hoisted up its
confidence on its shoulders and
walked away with the tears of
every praying Black mother,
every aching heart of Black fathers,
and with the lips of every
Black partner.

no justice. no peace. no justice. no peace.
no peace. no peace. no peace.

if you dream it, it will be . . .
those dreams aren’t for
Black people, we can shout something
into the great beyond and as sure
as the ground is hard, every
verdict will remain one
we fight ourselves about
with the waking breaths of an

angry God who has decided He’s done
picking up the pieces and
can only watch as his children
brutally murder their brothers and sisters

what a sight that has to be for
omnisciently sore eyes.

On: The Lives of African-Americans & People of Color

Photo by Ezekixl Akinnewu via Pexels

You don’t understand the anger b/c you are not the target. Your life isn’t on the line every time you come in contact with those purposed to “protect” & “serve”. Don’t question our anger. It’s warranted & has been bottled up for eons. An explosion of epic proportions is brewing.

Stand with us or sit down.