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…

Memorial Day 2020: The Family Gathers, an F150, and I Yelp about Social Distancing

Hey. It’s the Tuesday after what has probably been a quiet Memorial Day weekend for many of us (if you, though, are reading this not from your living room couch but from a crowded beach, please know a] I’m mad at you because SOCIAL DISTANCING, and b] I’m jealous of you because BEACH). I noticed this weekend that I managed to mess up Cian’s buzz cut last week (shocked, are you?): there’s a strip of hair above the nape of his neck that’s noticeably longer than any of the hair above it. Which means that as it grows he’s going to get a mullet. Which means that I am never, ever, ever touching the hair on that boy’s head with clippers ever again. He’ll just have to learn how to braid. I made Mom’s deviled eggs again yesterday. They tasted more like how she used to make them, and that made me happy. (My sister-in-law made key lime pie. That, too = happy.) I’m reading Emma Straub’s All Adults Here. I love her books, and…