ArchiveDecember 2023

A flash of Light


As I was wrapping up the second of two postings about the contents of my long-ignored archive, I had a profound insight, the kind that pulls together many seemingly disconnected strands of your life story. Years ago, I was thinking about my strange journey from psychologist to teacher when I suddenly realized that I had been on a consistent path all along; I was just using my preparations to be a...

Return to Ocean Hill/Brownsville


A few weeks ago, I wrote about a dive into my archives to revisit the work a colleague and I did in one of the early anti-poverty programs in Mississippi. At that point, my impression was that the archive consisted entirely of the manuscript of an unfinished book about that experience. That dive has been a lot deeper than I anticipated, and I’m finally coming up for air. It turns out the box...

resptectful disagreement


The war in Israel and Gaza has taken a heavy toll on so many fronts. Foremost, of course, there is the staggering number of deaths of innocent people on both sides. And thousands of miles away, here at home, there are broken and strained friendships, communal rifts like the one a friend in another midwestern city reported. Her congregation is imploding over a sermon delivered by her rabbi who...

Small town/big city


I loved living in our small New Hampshire town where the guy in the post office knew who you were as soon as you entered, and your plumber had a kid in your daughter’s class. Those small moments of connection cut through the feeling of anonymity from which we had fled in Brooklyn. But during our years in Chicago, we’ve learned that, given the right circumstances and the right location, you can...

Archive Diving


Recently, Christina, a historian based in Jackson, Mississippi contacted me about a book project. She is writing about a program called Friends of the Children of Mississippi (FCM) which is an offshoot of the Child Development Group of Mississippi. CDGM, about which I’ve written in earlier postings, was one of the first of President Johnson’s anti-poverty programs in the 60’s, one of the largest...

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