Saturday, March 30, 2019

SOL 30/31: From Light and Breezy to Serious and Important

I wake fifteen minutes before the alarm. I grab my phone and start scrolling through slices. With no definite plans in mind for today's writing, I'm in search of inspiration for a light and breezy slice. Light and breezy fits my weekend mentality of relaxed and easy.

I click on edified listener's slice, "Where I Am." Go ahead and read it. It starts out light and breezy in the Austrian Alps (don't miss the pic at the end), but it doesn't stay there. When I finish the post and revel a bit in the mountain scene, I see these words under Related: SOL #10 A challenge to fellow Slicers to share a story about race. I read that slice earlier in the month. I failed to leave a comment. And that's the moment I know that today's post will not be light and breezy.

And so in answer to Sherri's challenge, I'll share the book I'm currently reading for book club. It's Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson. I know that many of you have already read this book, but I shudder to think of how I almost missed reading this difficult, but important book. It was our book club choice for February and since I would be in Italy, I didn't pick up the copy that was already on my bookshelf. Enter our February snowpocalypse event (which I thankfully missed) and the cancellation of February's book club meeting. The discussion was rescheduled for April and suddenly I had time to read it. Because it's March and my reading is mostly confined to slices, I'm reading the book slowly. It's painful, but don't let that keep you away. It makes my heart heavy each time I pick it up, but the characters linger in my mind long after I set it down. It makes my heart sing that there are people like Bryan Stevenson in our world. It makes my heart wonder what I can do to effect change. 

And I'll share a movie that still lingers in my heart, "If Beale Street Could Talk." If you haven't seen it yet, you simply must. 

And I'll share a clip that I saw last week on PBS Newshour. It's Terun Moores's brief but spectacular take on second chances. 

A book and a movie and a television news clip. Make the time to read or watch or listen.

And the comments on Sherri's SOL#10 Challenge are filled with more recommendations from slicer friends. I'll close with Sherri's powerful words: "We have the benefit of community here. Please let's use it to grow ourselves in multiple ways. Talking about race is necessary and critical. We have an opportunity. I wonder how we'll use it."


  1. I've always taught in urban settings, with really diverse populations. Even so, I understand race in a whole different way since adopting my boys, and particularly as I have watched them age. I am terrified every time they walk out the door. And it makes me so sad! My book club read JUST MERCY a couple of years ago. If you haven't read THE HATE YOU GIVE by Angie Thomas or ALL AMERICAN BOYS by Brandon Kiely and Jason Reynolds (both YA novels), I highly recommend both of them. HATE YOU GIVE is also a terrific movie. And if you haven't seen GREEN BOOK, watch it now!

    1. I still haven't seen Green Book. And I'll add both titles to my ever growing WTR (want to read) list. I read very little YA, but I'm all up for nudges from fellow slicers.

  2. Dear Ramona, thank you so much for taking on this challenge. "Just Mercy" is a sobering read to say the least and if you ever have occasion to hear Bryan Stevenson speak, do it, he's phenomenal! I look forward to digging into the links you've provided. Once we decide to look at race and racism and notice all the aspects of our lives it touches, we cannot unsee it again. I deeply appreciate the way you have taken my words to heart and created something we can all learn from.

  3. thank you for sharing your thoughts and things to view/read to grow myself on an important topic. I appreciate you taking the time to read something slowly to help you process. Reading is not a race.