Race, Culture, Identity

Post-Reflections on the Buffalo, New York Shooting Massacre

Discerning the Content of my Heart As a little girl, the Walnut Park Fred Meyer’s felt more like church or a mini family reunion rather than a grocery store. Centered at the heart of our small Black community—laughter, joy and service stocked shelves and overstuffed aisles.  I witnessed the practice of unconditional love and collective […]

Of Thorns and Skin

Listen to the audio recording of Prasanta’s words here, or read her piece below: Of Thorns and Skin Your Task Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.*   A long wind brushes its fingers through the trees […]

Under this Same Sun

It wasn’t cued to play today. It’s been years. But somehow between My Chemical Romance, Green Day, Imogen Heap, and all the other music encroaching the playlists of parents with teens, it surfaced: This fragment of life Lora gave me a lifetime ago. I listen to The Weepies, as the Steve Tannen from 16 years […]

Sowing Seed

Like most Black people, I know that racism is real.  I know the truth about the traumatic history of our people and the ongoing assaults on our dignity. I feel a sting from implicit, explicit bias, and each racist act. Yet I was unaware of how racism planted seeds that inflicted racial trauma, which exhausted […]

A Hand upon the Forehead

  In Filipino culture, Mano Po is a sign of respect shown to our elders. When greeting a grandparent, the younger takes the hand of the elder and gently taps the back of the hand on the forehead. Mano means hand in Tagalog. Po is a term of respect. Respect. Obedience. Two terms that do […]

Here Lies Fear

Coming of age in any epoch means WEATHER.           Doing it as a burgeoning evangelical in the late 1900s (as my kids love to remind me) was like sipping a tempest in a teacup. There was no smoking, no parties or swearing for this sold-out Jesus-freak. There were—instead—bad perms, sub-par Christian rock, and not-so-subtle-sweatshirts like this […]

A Spool of Thread and a Piece of Pie

I was searching for a spool of black thread last summer. I couldn’t find one. Supplies were depleted in brick and mortar stores, and nothing was available at the online marketplace named after a gargantuan river. A simple roll of black thread proved to be a scarce commodity. All I needed to do was mend […]

Hollowed (Out) Halls of Justice

My daughter excels at catching insects with her bare hands. This skill set is on par with her fluency in “meme” and her ability keep up with Daveed Diggs’ light-speed verses in Hamilton. I am in awe of these aptitudes, and that she wields them despite sharing DNA with me. So, I wasn’t surprised when […]

Broken Body

The Deacon walked from group to group administering the sacraments. Each family stood masked, in front of their camp chairs, in an empty parking lot. Our church had pivoted during the pandemic, which allowed my husband and I to feel safe bringing our asthmatic 18-month old to worship. But while our church’s new protocols kept […]

Love Justice

I stand on a dirt path in the Philippines.   It has been raining for weeks. The path is muddy and rocky where rivulets of water have washed away the dirt.   Above me a young mama looks out the window. The frame of an open window.   There is no glass pane on the […]

Meet Prasanta Verma

Hello, I’m Prasanta. I’m a writer, poet, artist, photographer, and mom of three fabulous kids. I write about culture, identity, race, and belonging. Most days, you can find me reading or writing, with a cup of chai in hand. When it’s warm and everything is blooming outdoors, you may find me out on a walk […]

Enduring Patience

Patience. We wait. We wait for deliverance. We wait for the moment we are saved from trials.   And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience And patience, experience; and experience, hope: Romans 5:3-4 KJV   My father waited patiently for that moment of deliverance. He lay face down […]

Dr. Justina Ford Goes Higher

7,000 was the number of babies she brought into the world. 31 were the years she served the diverse community of east Denver—treating patients regardless of ethnicity, nationality, or ability to pay—offering resources and food for those who lacked them.1 She is reported to have said, “Folks make an appointment and whatever color they turn […]