Posted by Priscilla on August 24, 2013

My cousin, Anna, came to my home last weekend. Sometime in the hours of visiting, she began to reminisce about her hometown.

Pineville, a small country town hanging like a cedilla six miles off the south end of Charlotte, North Carolina, had but one industry:  the cotton mill. Its population was separated, as populations often are, by class and by race. The upper class? The mill owner, the doctor (both white), and their families. Everyone else, with the exception of the owners of the town drug store and the town gas station, worked at the mill.

And then there were the African –Americans. They picked cotton. They cleaned houses. They cooked meals.

Resentments were rampant in Pineville.

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Are Values Irrelevant?

Posted by Priscilla on August 16, 2013

headline.pngValues are underrated. 

Last month it was Anthony Weiner sending pictures of his private parts to women other than his wife. Last week it was a woman in Philadelphia systematically beating, torturing, and finally killing a three-year-old boy because he wasn’t potty trained. Yesterday, it was the unknown woman who walked into the Afghan restaurant and stole a thick black menu before walking off into the sunset. 

Now why on earth would someone steal a menu? Neither my daughter nor I, who watched the theft, could figure it out. Why would Mr. Weiner repeatedly share himself with strangers? Why would a “godmother” beat the little boy in her care to death? This is how Mike Newell, of the Philadelphia Inquirer wrote about the boy’s life:

The whipping noises could be heard almost every morning through the thin walls, audible beneath the loud music and the child's cries. A distinct sound. Lashes. Something swinging.

And an adult's screams:

"Move your hand!"

"Stop crying!"

"Sit still!"

The screaming and the lashing usually lasted an hour. Sometimes more.


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Hating the Poor

Posted by admin on August 6, 2013

poor2.pngThis, from yesterday’s Philadelphia Inquirer front page: “Many Americans disdain the poor — and science proves it. When people were placed in neuroimaging machines and shown photos of the poor and homeless, their brains responded as though the photos depicted things, not humans — a sign of revulsion.” (

Surely not, we say?

Unfortunately, poor-aversion is seen constantly in our society, say both scholars and social workers, and the aversion deepens as economic times get harder. 

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When You're Overwhelmed

Posted by admin on August 2, 2013

bamboo5.pngDo you think our forbearers found themselves overwhelmed by life?

Think about it. They moved most often at a walking pace, unable to hurry. A letter might take weeks or even months to travel to its recipient.  Outside activities ceased at sundown, while indoor life lasted only until the candles guttered out in their holders. Bakers baked, milkmaids milked and preachers preached. Very few had much choice in how they would spend their days.

Do you think they felt overwhelmed?

We are overwhelmed by modern life. Too many choices, too many expectations, too many emotions swirl around us and beat upon us until we cry out “Enough!” and bury our heads.

What about our grandparents and their grandparents back through the ages?


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