Archive | Country Matters

Relax: Oprah’s Got H. Lacks

h.lacksRecently it was announced that Oprah Winfrey plans to executive produce and star in an HBO film adaptation of Rebecca Skloot’s The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. When I read this news, I caught myself heaving an immense sigh of relief. With Oprah at the helm, I knew Miss Henrietta was going to be safe.

Skloot’s 2010 biography of Henrietta Lacks is one of the most extraordinary literary events of this decade, which only befits the extraordinary Lacks and her legacy. Widely regarded as a lynchpin of her Baltimore neighborhood, she was a beautiful, small African-American woman who said what she thought, fed everyone, and painted her nails perfectly red. Raised by her grandfather in the slave quarters where their family had once been relegated, she shared a room with first cousin David “Day” Lacks, with whom she birthed her first child at age fourteen. Day and she married, moved to Baltimore from the tobacco farms of Virginia, and went on to have four more children, including the developmentally disabled Elsie and her youngest, Deborah. Continue Reading →

Summer of Jane

Jane I hereby declare this the Summer of Jane Austen. Usually I have mermaid summers but, what with the devolution of public discourse and general etiquette, with the sloppy slide of modern courtship (if it can even be called that nowadays), and with the general erosion of civility, we’re all sorely in need of Jane’s nuance, wit, grace, and rigorous ethics. To that end, I’m revisiting all her books this summer and invite you to join me. As well, I’m only going to play literary I Ching (randomly open book, randomly pluck down finger and read) with her books. To wit: “She had loved, she did love still, and she had all the suffering which a warm temper and high spirit were likely to endure under the disappointment of a dear, though irrational, hope, with a strong sense of ill-usage.”–Mansfield Park. Temperance, not tempus, fugit!

We Are All Cousins

Edmund Pettus bridge, 1965I woke up thinking about how the Left is also to blame for the rise of Trump. By practicing divisiveness, by condescending to huge swaths of the population, by assuming that values not shared (like Christianity) are values born of ignorance, we’ve abandoned the poorer people of this country–what sixties people used to call “the masses” with a straight face. Continue Reading →

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy