My birth was an act of protest and resistance.
I entered this world at Kansas University Medical Center in Kansas City, Kansas. But we lived in Kansas City, Missouri. My parents' decision to drive past several public and private hospitals to a hospital across the state line that would accept Black patients was an act of defiance, resistance and protest. A brother younger than me by two and a half years, and the younger brothers and sisters that followed, were born in the glow of dignity that was the result of protest and struggle. The unique videoconference broadcasts included:
- Connecting our Lucille's Kitchen broadcast audiences with Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa to discuss HIV/AIDS in South Africa and in North Minneapolis, and to discuss to criminal justice issues following the close of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings follow the collapse of apartheid;
- Talking directly with Jews in Germany regarding their fight for reparations for state sponsored theft of their labor during WWII, connected to a Lucille's Kitchen conversation with TransAfrica president and author Randall Robinson on his book The Debt, What American Owes to Blacks;
- Engaging members of Congressional Black Caucus, directly from the U.S. House of Representatives on the issues of education, business procurement in the food industry, and telecommunications policy;
- Creating stellar programs in partnership with Children's Theatre Company, connecting area students and activists to eye witnesses of Birmingham church bombings of 1963 - theme of the CTC production, The Watson's Go to Birmingham; and, the international video conferences placing Twin Cities high school students in direct contact with Sudan's Ambassador to the US in Washington D.C., and with relief and aid workers in Juba, Sudan - extending exploration of CTC's production of The Lost Boys of Sudan.
Conversations with Al McFarlane, provides me with the opportunity to do what I love to do, engage my gift of perception and gift of description in the service of my guests, of our issues and interests, and for the benefit of our community.
Our community, our people, are gifted. The unending warfare against our sense of humanity, the gratuitous insult to our dignity and institutional marginalization of our culture seeks to discourage us from discovering, knowing and celebrating our gifts.
My job as a communicator, my work, is to continue talking to our people, saying, "Acknowledge the gift. Redemption is at hand."