Passage to womanhood, understood

N’sheema Kali Ralph is a 13-year-old student ready to begin her freshman year at The Met High School downtown. Her peanut butter brown skin, thick curly hair and infectious smile captured my heart the moment I laid eyes on her. The kindness in her spirit reflects a sense of innocence and honesty that most of […]

Freedom from the shell

She wakes each day at 5:22 a.m. to the sounds of automated chirping birds. Slowly getting out of bed, she knows her daily grind by heart. She stumbles from her bedroom, eager for morning coffee. This morning as described is pretty typical for an American woman. So let’s focus on how this woman stands apart […]

My superwoman

Farm mom

One day in college, my professor asked the class to write about our “hero,” our “role model,” or an “inspirational figure.” Someone we looked up to. I was stuck. I had no idea who or what to write about. Growing up, these words had no meaning in my life. I wasn’t raised with nursery rhymes […]

Youth football wins big for reluctant Mom


I will admit it: I cringed at the idea of my son playing junior league football. I cringed at the violence, on the field and off, and the behavior of some players who should know better: the men who play in the NFL. And I cringed at the danger of injury, temporary and permanent, faced […]