Race, Culture, Identity

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 […]

How Much Cultural Discomfort Can You Put Up With?

I know it’s hard to embrace someone else’s cultural values. Whether it’s their noise level, the smell and look of their food, their communal gatherings, the way they look at you, talk, dress, or act, another person’s way of life often feels like a disruption. Their actions and words can annoy us or make us […]

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 […]

At the Table: A Place of Stability in a Multicultural Family

Stability. How do you create stability in a changing world? One way is to hold on to tradition and customs. Customs carry the thread of story into the next generation. Food carries story. Not only through its flavors, but with stories that are passed on along with it at the table. There are dishes prepared […]

Nia Dennis Has the Floor

Nia Dennis worked the floor for 90 seconds and a lifetime. The student-athlete’s January 23 routine (9.95) not only secured the UCLA Bruin’s win over Arizona State but became a rising, viral anthem for something far more profound: In her LA Times feature of Dennis, Thuc Nhi Nguyen reports, “Inspired by the Black Lives Matter […]

Phillis Wheatley’s Revolution

She had words, from a birth language, spoken by a birth family, who gave her a birth name. Thieves tore almost everything from her, endeavoring to replace the originals with cheap imitations—like the new name they chose for her, from the boat that abducted her (The Phillis) and the family that enslaved her (Wheatley). But […]

What’s in Amanda Gorman’s Name

You know her titles: National Youth Poet Laureate. Inaugural poet (youngest ever). Harvard University graduate. Super Bowl show-stopper. Amanda Gorman: The one with her hand uniquely positioned on the pulse of a nation past, present, and future. But from a recent interview with Michelle Obama (Time Magazine),1did you know this about her name? “President Biden […]

Ziyah Holman’s Anchor

Two weeks ago, University of Michigan student-athlete Ziyah Holman overcame an unheard of 21 second team deficit to win the 4X4000 (Simmons-Harvey Invitational). Holman’s 51.79 second split came AFTER she set a meet/stadium record (and NCAA season lead) in in the 600 meters.1 She narrated her comeback-mindset to Theo Mackie of the Michigan Daily: “‘Just […]

Deliverance Song: Becky Elzy & Alberta Bradford

Editor’s Note: The providential intersect of our planning and God’s timing at The Mudroom is, for us, a never-ending source of awe. Stepping into February, we find ourselves here once again, as we simultaneously unveil our monthly theme (the virtue of stability) alongside a new series: Her Voice, Her Story: Beholding a History of Black […]

Dr. King’s Final Climb

Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his final speech from a Memphis pulpit on April 3, 1968. He was assassinated one day later.  He knew, as Moses before him, that he would not taste deliverance before death. But like Moses on the mountaintop, he would proclaim its promise from afar. May we, too, look long and […]

The Hope of Remembering

In art class one day, I was attempting to paint a landscape with oil colors. I couldn’t get a particular area just right. It seemed off. I began to pull my canvas off the easel when my teacher stopped me. “What are you doing, Paula Frances?” “I’m going to start over. It doesn’t look right.” […]