Race, Culture, Identity

Ain’t I a Black Woman, Too?

After a few days of hoopla I figured I should sit down & finally watch Beyonce’s Lemonade. Admittedly I’m a fan, but never I-will-defend-Queen-Bee-to-the-death as some are prone to doing. I expected an enjoyable viewing experience, but what I got was so much more.   I read that Lemonade’s concept was being described as “every […]

The Place of Privilege in the Kingdom of God

  We don’t know what we don’t know— unless our eyes are opened. A first realization: the cafeteria lunch ticket. It was on display for all to see when I handed it to the lunch lady. No way to be discrete. Its bright color marked me as eligible for a free lunch. Sometimes sheer embarrassment […]

Asian. American. Christian. Woman.

I walk each day as an Asian-American Christian woman drifting between four separate worlds (Asian. American. Christian. Woman.). These worlds often have opposing values affecting my mindset, responses and how I make decisions. I grew up in Boulder, CO one of a handful of Asian-Americans. At the age of nine, I accompanied my dad, producer […]

Striving to Embrace Our Multi-Ethnic Community

One morning as I scanned my church email, most of the names and subject lines were familiar. Our guest speaker for the coming Sunday had sent her sermon title. Our music coordinator wanted to discuss the worship flow and congregational singing. Our denominational office had sent the usual weekly email of announcements and prayer requests. […]

One Small Square

The sigh was collective. Weighted with a tangible disappointment it was all we could do to make space for it as we gathered after class one day. Numerous stories of police violence against Black women were being highlighted within the national consciousness and our emotions were all over the place. Female members of the student […]

A Meeting Place

I’ve had this image in my mind since I was a little girl; it’s of my grandmothers meeting for the first time. I imagine them meeting in a liminal space, an in-between place where neither of them have ever been. They find a small cluster of metal patio furniture that make up a café of […]

Coming of Age in This American Life

I. As a girl, I learned about racism from my white father. He taught me it was evil which was the exact opposite of his upbringing where racism was as natural as a Carolinian drawl and black eyed peas with salty cured ham hocks and collard greens.  His blonde haired blue-eyed roots were soaked in […]

We Are Criminals, and God Loves Us

Note: This is an excerpt from Deidra’s forthcoming book, One: Unity in a Divided World. *** I am a black woman, living in America. Just last month I walked down the street near a country club in our neighborhood and had a car of three young white men yell unmentionable things to me through their […]

Mestizaje: A Prophetic Identity

After months and months of crazy busy schedules, I finally got some time with my husband to sit down and watch the movie Concussion.  It is a movie all about the NFL and how a meticulous neuropathologist stumbles upon a diagnosis found in retired football players connected to the chronic concussions they sustain during their […]

I Don’t Fit a Label

When it comes to race and culture, I am confused just like I am with most things in life. I have so many roots that it makes it very hard for anyone to put a label on me. It makes most people uncomfortable. We like our labels; we like to know exactly what or who […]

Always a Foreigner, Never Home

My face is the filter through which people see me. It can’t be helped. When people look at me, they see an Asian girl. To some, it’s the face of familiarity, but to most it’s the face of a foreigner. It creates distance, division, and tension. It brings up questions of heritage and place and […]

On “Racial Reconciliation” and “Getting Your Cousins”

“Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection…” -Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”, 1963 Reconcile: to cause people or groups to become friendly again after an argument or disagreement (Merriam-Webster Dictionary) […]