Childbirth Can be Terrifying

After the film I asked Theresa about her own birth experience with me and learned that she had entered the hospital alone and frightened, whereupon she’d been whisked away to a room neighboring other birthing rooms, a harried nurse running back and forth between Theresa and two other women, all of them afraid and calling for the nurse’s attention. Theresa recalled the intense pain of labor, having little understanding as to what was happening with her body, with no one to explain anything or provide any comfort, all the while begging the nurse not to leave her alone as, through the walls, the terrified screams of her neighbors penetrated. I came into this world after some hours of the torture she described to me, pulled out with forceps, silent, possibly stillborn, Theresa had thought. The doctor held me by my feet and slapped my bottom a few times until I let out a small weak whimper. Theresa’s story shocked me.

Synanon Kid Grows Up by C.A. Wittman

Community Defined

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If diversity’s what it’s all about, then our neighborhood is all that and a bag of chips. But without a shared sense of purpose, diversity spells conflict and isolation, not opportunity. I figure that tract of land is what brought us together. None of us is about to give that up.

Before I stepped out of my house that cold morning three years ago, I might have told you “community” was some kind of Up with People fantasy—like-minded folks sharing a Norman Rockwell moment. Now I think community has little to do with like minds. It has to do with very differently minded people finding a way to get along because we all live in, are connected to, and share a sense of place.

Animal, Mineral, Radical: Essays on Wildlife, Family, and Food by BK Loren

Absence of Experience is Experience

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“Although white Americans often think we’ve had few first-hand experiences with race, because most of us are so isolated from people of color in our day-to-day lives, the reality is that this isolation is our experience with race.”

White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son by Tim Wise