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Leah Ferguson

10 Sorta Happy Things in this Summer of 2020

You guys, my kids are climbing the walls. They’re threatening to dig a hole in the backyard and fill it with tap water from the hose and call it a pool. They’re saying it’s too hot to play outside when it’s only 78 degrees. They’re daydreaming about places to visit, with the caveat: “some day–but when?” They volunteer to go with me to my mom’s because it means they get to sit in front of Hot Bench and Judge Judy, and maybe just maybe we’ll go get ice cream afterward. You guys, they’ve stopped complaining about us taking them on hikes. That’s how bad it’s gotten. Morale is down in our little corner of PA. We’re slowly starting to venture into the world again, but it’s slow going, and there’s not much on the horizon except more of the same. On a very hot day last week one of the kids actually got upset with me because we’ve never made friends with anyone who has a backyard pool…

Leah Reads: Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates

I looked it up on a map. I lived two miles from where the author Ta-Nehisi Coates grew up. I was twenty-five and living in a loft apartment on the corner of Eutaw and Centre Streets in Baltimore. That apartment had security cameras and gates and a sentry at the front desk. Camden Yards was a mile south, Lexington Market a couple of blocks away, and West Baltimore, where Coates had lived, lay just past Seton Hill to my left. When I went running every morning before work, I ran right, always right, out of the alley next to my building, then through the beautiful stretch of Mt. Vernon and down around Inner Harbor. I never went left. I loved where I lived. I loved my tiny spiral staircase and my view of Johns Hopkins and the drive through Roland Park to get to my classes at Notre Dame of Maryland. I loved the restuarants I couldn’t afford and the buildings and my walks along Charles Street. I felt alive there. At this time, I was working full-time for my uncle downtown so I could pay for my grad school full-time uptown. Like all…

George Floyd, the White Mama, and Anti-Racism: a Reckoning

I saw this image last week, and the message hasn’t left my mind. It happened right after I read this opinion piece, called “I Need White Mamas to Come Running,” by Christy Oglesby, a senior producer at CNN. Her plea hasn’t left my mind, either. In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, the atmosphere in our house has shifted. David and I, I know, are not alone in this. We’ve begun reading and listening in a way we haven’t before: articles and essays online and books in our house and on my phone are being re-read or picked up anew. He’s just finished Angie Thomas’ The Hate You Give and is about to start the beautiful Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I’m listening to Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates. I’m taking my time with that one. It’s both incredible and raw and, as a mother, really hard to hear. But the mother needs to pay attention to the voices of her children, so I’m listening. David and I been talking a lot…