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Whiteness Matters

Whiteness Matters | OUR COMMON GROUND  Informed Truth and Resistance | Scoop.it
The failed responses, at a rhetorical and a policy level in the aftermath of Katrina and post-Trayvon highlights a persistent failure to account for American racism.
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OUR COMMON GROUND  Informed Truth and Resistance
The greatest revolution of our generation is the discovery that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives”
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The Mike Brown Killing: It's Much Too Late for Angry Words l Kobie Colemon

The Mike Brown Killing: It's Much Too Late for Angry Words  l  Kobie Colemon | OUR COMMON GROUND  Informed Truth and Resistance | Scoop.it
Guest post by Kobie Colemon.
OUR COMMON GROUND Omnibus's insight:

This image will be an iconic reminder of  how the people of Ferguson, MO, responded to Mike Brown’s cold blooded killing. 

A few things I think I know about the police violence and Black protest in Ferguson, MO. First, when Black people are the victims of police brutality and murder, it is the murderers who are humanized and the Blacks who are dehumanized. There is a strange equivocation where the same rhetoric is used to exonerate one group of people (the police), while denigrating another (Black people).

 

http://thestartingfive.net/2014/08/17/the-mike-brown-killing-its-much-too-late-for-angry-words-by-kobie-colemon/

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How Trayvon Martin’s Death Launched a New Generation of Black Activism

How Trayvon Martin’s Death Launched a New Generation of Black Activism | OUR COMMON GROUND  Informed Truth and Resistance | Scoop.it
A host of new groups are reviving the grassroots fight for racial equality.
OUR COMMON GROUND Omnibus's insight:

“A moment of trauma can oftentimes present you with an opportunity to do something about the situation to prevent that trauma from happening again,” said Charlene Carruthers, one the activists at the conference."

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Ferguson Unmasks the War on Black America | Black Agenda Report

Ferguson Unmasks the War on Black America | Black Agenda Report | OUR COMMON GROUND  Informed Truth and Resistance | Scoop.it

"The brave and besieged people of Ferguson, Missouri, have already caused serious complications for the U.S. National Security State." 

OUR COMMON GROUND Omnibus's insight:

"A Force to Crush a People

 

White America perceived that it was at war with Black people, who no longer knew their place – and so, places of confinement were made for them; fortified dungeons to house millions. Since America tells itself and the rest of the world that it does not make war on its own citizens, and that there is a sharp and Constitutionally defined separation between the military and civilian functions of the State, the war against Black people had to be called something else – a War on Drugs, or simply a War on Crime. Therefore, it was not long before the words “crime” and “drugs” and “Black” came to mean the same thing since, really, there was only one war going on. And, it continues, still."

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Black America and the burden of the perfect victim

Black America and the burden of the perfect victim | OUR COMMON GROUND  Informed Truth and Resistance | Scoop.it
Michael Brown wasn’t an angel. Does that mean he had it coming?
OUR COMMON GROUND Omnibus's insight:

On Dec. 1, 1955, Parks refused to give up her seat on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Ala., and became an icon. But Parks was not the first to defy the rules. Nine months earlier, 15-year-old Claudette Colvin refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus. In an interview last year with Democracy Now, Colvin said that when the cops arrived and ordered her to get up, “it felt like Sojourner Truth’s hands were pushing me down on one shoulder and Harriet Tubman’s hands were pushing me down on another shoulder, and I could not move.”


So they pulled her up and jailed her. Colvin sued and became one of the five plaintiffs in Browder v. Gayle, a desegregation case that would reach the Supreme Court. In November 1956, the court ordered the end of bus segregation in Alabama. Parks was not involved in that suit.

 

But Colvin did not become an icon of the civil rights movement. In a March 2009 interview, she told NPR that civil rights leaders at the time thought Parks would be a better symbol for the movement. Parks “was an adult,” Colvin said. “They didn’t think teenagers would be reliable.” She also speculated that Parks had the right look for the part. “Her skin texture was the kind that people associate with the middle class. She fit that profile.”

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Americans' Deep Racial Divide on Trusting the Police

Americans' Deep Racial Divide on Trusting the Police | OUR COMMON GROUND  Informed Truth and Resistance | Scoop.it
It isn't just Ferguson—polling shows that black Americans are wary of law enforcement across the nation, while whites are more likely to trust officers.
OUR COMMON GROUND Omnibus's insight:

"While the focus for the last two weeks has been on the specific racial tensions boiling over in the St. Louis suburbs, Gallup rounded up several years of polling data showing that these stories about black distrust of the police in Ferguson match with broader perceptions among African Americans nationwide."

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So Say We All

So  Say  We  All | OUR COMMON GROUND  Informed Truth and Resistance | Scoop.it
OUR COMMON GROUND Omnibus's insight:

Hail Captain Adama.

"There's a reason you separate military and the police. One fights the enemies of the State, the other serves and protects the people.  When the military becomes both, then the enemies of the State tend to become the People." - William Adama

So Say We All

 

Tell Dept. Of Justice 'End Racist And Militaristic Policing'

http://www.popularresistance.org/tell-dept-of-justice-end-racist-and-militaristic-policing/

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Black and Unarmed: Men Without Weapons Killed by Law-Enforcement

Black and Unarmed: Men Without Weapons Killed by Law-Enforcement | OUR COMMON GROUND  Informed Truth and Resistance | Scoop.it
The shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., reopens a fresh wound just weeks after a police chokehold killed Eric Garner in New York City.
OUR COMMON GROUND Omnibus's insight:

There comes a time when silence is betrayal.

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BlackListory | 8 Ways to Be More Like James Baldwin

BlackListory | 8 Ways to Be More Like James Baldwin | OUR COMMON GROUND  Informed Truth and Resistance | Scoop.it

BlackListory

Bravo ! to them.  Check Yvette out.

OUR COMMON GROUND Omnibus's insight:

"

2.) Know thyself. Evolve.

“I had to go through a time of isolation in order to come to terms with who and what I was, as distinguished from all the things I’d been told I was. Right around 1950 I remember feeling that I’d come through something, shed a dying skin and was naked again.”

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OUR COMMON GROUND Voice, Matt Taibbi: "Obama's Big Sell Out"

OUR COMMON GROUND Voice, Matt Taibbi: "Obama's Big Sell Out" | OUR COMMON GROUND  Informed Truth and Resistance | Scoop.it
Barack Obama ran for president as a man of the people, standing up to Wall Street as the global economy melted down in that fateful fall of 2008. He pushed a tax plan to soak the rich, ripped NAFTA...
OUR COMMON GROUND Omnibus's insight:

"How did we get here? It started just moments after the election — and almost nobody noticed."

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Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race - Abstract - UNTHINKING RACIAL REALISM: A FUTURE FOR REPARATIONS?1

Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race - Abstract - UNTHINKING RACIAL REALISM: A FUTURE FOR REPARATIONS?1 | OUR COMMON GROUND  Informed Truth and Resistance | Scoop.it

Cambridge Journals Online -

"Considered costly, divisive, and backward-looking, reparations for slavery and Jim Crow appear to have no place in the politics of the This essay proposes that the dismissal of reparations concedes too much. First, I contend that the conjunction of postracial discourse, on the one hand, and deepening racial inequalities, on the other, demands a counter-language, one that ties the analysis of the present to the historical conditions out of which it was produced. I explore reparations as a political language that (1) situates political claims within the historical framework of slavery, reconstruction, and segregation; (2) links past to present to future in its demand for concrete forms of redress; and (3) has played an important role in African American political life and in contemporary democracies in transition. Second, in contrast to much of the reparations scholarship, I focus on the demands of democracy rather than justice. Doing so both helps to evade some of the technical questions that have prevented full consideration of the political work of reparations and provides a vehicle for redefining both governmental and civic responsibility in the shadow of slavery and Jim Crow.

OUR COMMON GROUND Omnibus's insight:
Race in a “Postracial” EpochUNTHINKING RACIAL REALISM: A FUTURE FOR REPARATIONS? 1Lawrie Balfour 

 

Department of Politics, University of Virginia

 

Abstract

 

Considered costly, divisive, and backward-looking, reparations for slavery and Jim Crow appear to have no place in the politics of the “postracial epoch.” This essay proposes that the dismissal of reparations concedes too much. First, I contend that the conjunction of postracial discourse, on the one hand, and deepening racial inequalities, on the other, demands a counter-language, one that ties the analysis of the present to the historical conditions out of which it was produced. I explore reparations as a political language that (1) situates political claims within the historical framework of slavery, reconstruction, and segregation; (2) links past to present to future in its demand for concrete forms of redress; and (3) has played an important role in African American political life and in contemporary democracies in transition. Second, in contrast to much of the reparations scholarship, I focus on the demands of democracy rather than justice. Doing so both helps to evade some of the technical questions that have prevented full consideration of the political work of reparations and provides a vehicle for redefining both governmental and civic responsibility in the shadow of slavery and Jim Crow.

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A National Shame

A National Shame | OUR COMMON GROUND  Informed Truth and Resistance | Scoop.it

by OUR COMMON GROUND Voices Ruby Sales and Susan SmithThis article appeared in the August 2014 issue of Sojourners magazine.

Police killing of black people is not a black problem. It is an American problem.
OUR COMMON GROUND Omnibus's insight:

"AFRICAN AMERICANS around the country are finding it is dangerous to call 911. Jack Lamar Roberson’s family in Waycross, Ga., discovered this the hard way when they placed an urgent call to 911 in October 2013 because his fiancée thought that he had taken an overdose of diabetes medicine.Instead of sending EMTs, the dispatcher sent the police. Within 20 seconds of being in the house, police shot Roberson nine times, with bullets striking his back, arms, chest, and head as he held his arms up in the air. Although he was a veteran, he did not die from bullet wounds at the hands of strangers in a foreign land. Instead, white police gunned him down in his home.Killings like this—which could be called anti-black hate crimes by po..."

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In Desegregation Case, Judge Blasts School Officials and Justice Department

In Desegregation Case, Judge Blasts School Officials and Justice Department | OUR COMMON GROUND  Informed Truth and Resistance | Scoop.it
A federal judge in Alabama says local school board has failed to meet legal mandate to integrate.
OUR COMMON GROUND Omnibus's insight:

"Huntsville's schools had been under court order since 1965. Though the district itself is racially balanced, most of the district's schools are either heavily white or heavily black. A new zoning plan proposed by the board in 2013 would have increased segregation for many black students.

The U.S. Department of Justice, a party to the case, objected to the assignment plan and in February the dispute landed before Haikala, who'd been appointed to the bench by President Obama in 2012."

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What Happens When Detroit Shuts Off the Water of 100,000 People

What Happens When Detroit Shuts Off the Water of 100,000 People | OUR COMMON GROUND  Informed Truth and Resistance | Scoop.it
Some run dry—and others pay $30 for plumbers to illegally turn the taps back on. 
OUR COMMON GROUND Omnibus's insight:

" When the water trucks arrived near Arlyssa Heard’s home on the west side of Detroit at the end of June, the 42-year-old single mother of two said it felt like the entire neighborhood was being taken over. “There were water trucks literally circling up and down blocks. I’d never seen so many in my life,” she says. “It’s like they were the police hunting down a criminal.”

It may not have been a police crackdown, but what she witnessed was definitely a crackdown of a sort. Since last year, the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department has been turning off water at the homes of customers behind on their bills. The shut-off campaign comes at a time of crisis and hastened recovery for Detroit, which becamethe largest American city to ever file for bankruptcy last summer. The value of the bonds associated with the water department’s debt comes to $5.7 billion, which constitutes almost one-third of the amount estimated to have pushed Detroit into bankruptcy.

The campaign to crack down on overdue bills—which is aimed at customers who are more than two months behind on their bills or who owe more than $150—has been described by activists and scholars alike as an effort, pushed by the city’s emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, to get rid of the bad debt associated with the water department and prep the public entity for privatization.

In a city where the median household income is less than half the national average, 38 percent of residents live below the poverty line and 23 percent are unemployed, it comes as no surprise that at least 40 percent of customers are delinquent on their bills. "

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8 Disturbingly Racist Children's Books Designed to Devalue Black People - Atlanta Blackstar

8 Disturbingly Racist Children's Books Designed to Devalue Black People - Atlanta Blackstar | OUR COMMON GROUND  Informed Truth and Resistance | Scoop.it
Let’s Hurry or We’ll  Miss the Public LynchingIn the late 19th and early 20th century, many books were developed in the United States and the United Kingdom to propagate the devaluation of Black people in their relative societies.   Some of the books were so outrageous, comedian Bob Staake’s  made ‘Let’s Hurry or We’ll  Miss …
OUR COMMON GROUND Omnibus's insight:

"In the late 19th and early 20th century, many books were developed in the United States and the United Kingdom to propagate the devaluation of Black people in their relative societies.   Some of the books were so outrageous, comedian Bob Staake’s  made ‘Let’s Hurry or We’ll  Miss the Public Lynching‘ parody cover to bring light to the era."

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#Ferguson: An American Apartheid

#Ferguson: An American Apartheid | OUR COMMON GROUND  Informed Truth and Resistance | Scoop.it

"#Ferguson: An American Apartheid"   

by Goldie Taylor

 

"By the time my maternal grandparents arrived in 1932, my father’s family had already been in St. Louis some 35 years. Like those who migrated north, both before and after them, they found a city bu...

OUR COMMON GROUND Omnibus's insight:

"For too many, including my family, that meant living in silence with the realities of over-policing, racial profiling and red-lining, never really mounting a fight against the confines of social and economic injustice with any fervor. It meant never seeing the ballot box as a meaningful mechanism for substantive change." 

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The Fire This Time: America's Truce in the Fight Against Racism Guarantees More Fergusons

The Fire This Time: America's Truce in the Fight Against Racism Guarantees More Fergusons | OUR COMMON GROUND  Informed Truth and Resistance | Scoop.it
Because of the persistence of racism and a relaxation of the fight against it, we are moving backwards. Ferguson is just the latest illustration.
OUR COMMON GROUND Omnibus's insight:

Bob Hebert is a wise and insightful voice in America. 

" Black people all across America, not just in Ferguson, are angry about the killing of Michael Brown. And they remain angry over the killing of Trayvon Martin. And many are seething over the fatal chokehold clamped on the throat of Eric Garner by a cop on Staten Island in New York—a cop who refused to relent even as Garner gasped, “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe.”   

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White privilege: An insidious virus that’s eating America from within

White privilege: An insidious virus that’s eating America from within | OUR COMMON GROUND  Informed Truth and Resistance | Scoop.it
Ferguson offers white people a chance to understand the price of our privilege
OUR COMMON GROUND Omnibus's insight:

"But the most insidious power of white privilege, the albatross effect that makes it so oppressive to white people themselves, is the way it renders itself invisible and clouds the collective mind. It’s like a virus that adapts in order to ensure its own survival and perpetuation, in this case by convincing its host it isn’t there." 

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Self-Segregation: Why It's So Hard for Whites to Understand Ferguson

Self-Segregation: Why It's So Hard for Whites to Understand Ferguson | OUR COMMON GROUND  Informed Truth and Resistance | Scoop.it
One reason for the racial divide over Michael Brown's death is that white Americans tend to talk mostly to other white people.
OUR COMMON GROUND Omnibus's insight:

"Clearly white Americans see the broader significance of Michael Brown’s death through radically different lenses than black Americans. There are myriad reasons for this divergence, from political ideologies—which, for example, place different emphases on law and order versus citizens’ rights—to fears based in racist stereotypes of young black men. But the chief obstacle to having an intelligent, or even intelligible, conversation across the racial divide is that on average white Americans live in communities that face far fewer problems and talk mostly to other white people."

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Black Masculinism and New Black Masculinities

Black Masculinism and New Black Masculinities | OUR COMMON GROUND  Informed Truth and Resistance | Scoop.it
"I don't advocate for male privilege. I advocate for men." - Dr. T. Hasan Johnson Created by Dr. T. Hasan Johnson of CSU Fresno's Africana Studies Program, the concept of Bl...
OUR COMMON GROUND Omnibus's insight:

Gaining from Institutionalized Hatred

This hatred doesn’t come out of nowhere. People profit from the institutionalized hatred of Black men, most particularly law enforcement, media, and the bourgeois intelligentsia. Police departments and private/public prisons benefit from the hatred of Black males. The militarization of the police since the 1960s has made it profitable to be in law enforcement. Private and public prisons not only benefit from grants and federal (taxpayer) dollars, they often trade on the stock market, meaning people literally invest in the warehousing and forced labor of Black males, many of whom have been provided such an atrocious education (with no viable job options) for so many decades that their imprisonment is damned-near inevitable.
http://newblackmasculinities.wordpress.com/

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"I ran out, half-naked and bleeding..." l Goldie Taylor

"I ran out, half-naked and bleeding..." l Goldie Taylor | OUR COMMON GROUND  Informed Truth and Resistance | Scoop.it

National news analyst and commentator, documentarian and OUR COMMON GROUND Voice, Goldie Taylor writes of family and intimate partner violence.

 

OUR COMMON GROUND Omnibus's insight:

"It started with a couple of dime store t-shirts.  It ended with me running half naked and bleeding from our apartment.I hadn’t done it right, the laundry. His white undershirts were now pink, thank..."

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Get Out of Jail, Inc. - The New Yorker

Get Out of Jail, Inc. - The New Yorker | OUR COMMON GROUND  Informed Truth and Resistance | Scoop.it
On a cold November afternoon, Harriet Cleveland, a forty-nine-year-old mother of three, waved me over from the steps of her pink cottage in Montgomery, Alabama. She was off to her part-time job as a custodian at a local day-care center, looking practical but confectionary: pink lipstick, a pastel yellow-and-pink tunic, and dangly pink earrings. We’d need to start walking soon, she explained. The job, which paid seven dollars and twenty-five cents an hour, was the only one she’d been able to find for some time, and was four and a half miles away. As we set off beneath loblolly pines, she recounted the events that had led me to her doorstep: her arrest and jailing for a string of traffic tickets that she was unable to pay. It was, in part, a story of poverty and constraint, but it was also a story of the lucrative and fast-growing “alternatives to incarceration” industry.
OUR COMMON GROUND Omnibus's insight:

Some investors have begun to turn their attention to extra-carceral institutions, such as private halfway houses, electronic monitoring, “civil commitment” centers for sex offenders, and for-profit residential treatment facilities. Private-prison corporations themselves have begun to expand into the “alternatives” industry. The GEO Group now has an array of “community reëntry services” and treatment programs. In 2011, it acquired the country’s largest electronic-monitoring firm, BI Incorporated, for four hundred and fifteen million dollars. 

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Twitter's Diversity Numbers And The Mystery Of Black Twitter

Twitter's Diversity Numbers And The Mystery Of Black Twitter | OUR COMMON GROUND  Informed Truth and Resistance | Scoop.it
I find myself getting very confused in this ongoing series of arguments and revelations about how white and male Silicon Valley seems to be. Companies are being castigated, castigating themselves even, for things that aren't really under their control. Perhaps it's simply because I'm not American and therefore am observing [...]
OUR COMMON GROUND Omnibus's insight:

"But then I see the arguments being made about “Black Twitter TWTR -1.42%” and find myself not just confused but perplexed. For the evidence being offered is the very refutation of the contention being made. This isn’t a cultural matter, this is a logical error.

The latest installment of this is Twitter releasing their workforce diversitynumbers: . . . "

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White power and Black voices: Why we can’t rely on “good white people” | LBS Baltimore

White power and Black voices: Why we can’t rely on “good white people” | LBS Baltimore | OUR COMMON GROUND  Informed Truth and Resistance | Scoop.it

"LBS has developed one of the only programs in existence that can take youth from the so called “urban” context and produce nationally competitive scholars and advocates. "

OUR COMMON GROUND Omnibus's insight:

"Just as we have advocated against mass incarceration in our fight against the Youth Jail and advocated against police brutality in our fight to pass Christopher’s Law, we will advocate against the parasitic nature in which the non-profit industrial complex in Baltimore uses Black suffering to create white institutional power.  The only people who are qualified to liberate us is us.  We do not want your charity, we want justice.  Unless you are willing to be beholden to Black power you are a part of the problem no matter how good your intentions are."

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The "'Model Black Immigrant' vs. Black American" Stereotype

The "'Model Black Immigrant' vs. Black American" Stereotype | OUR COMMON GROUND  Informed Truth and Resistance | Scoop.it
Despite the fact that non-American born Black people (who may not go by “Black” until they actually live in the States, if at all; complex varying cultural, colonial and imperialistic histories impact...
OUR COMMON GROUND Omnibus's insight:

"When people think that I am Jamaican, they treat me with a different respect at times. They make jokes about “stupid” Black Americans while consuming literally everything that Black Americans create. They make insults about Black American people or erase the impact of that peculiar institution on Black American life today. And though I experienced some bullying from Black American children growing up (which was admittedly very rough and painful) because they didn’t like how my parents spoke or the food I ate at times, I also had long-term friendships with Black American girls. In fact, none of my closest friends now in adulthood are Jamaican women (though of course I love them too). They’re Black American women. We still share so much because we are all Black women though, wiling to learn and celebrate our differences and navigate the spaces of our multiple similarities.


"At the same time, when people think that I am American, other Black immigrants (and most certainly Whites) have insulted me. Called me “stupid” or “lazy.” Some have even suggested that Black Americans do not work hard. They completely ignore the intricacies and unique experiences of Black Americans here, especially the impact of the legacy of slavery on Black women here and how some colleges will gladly open their arms to foreign-born Black students while allowing their White students to publish “research” on the inferiority of Black Americans. Worse, some really think to be Black in America is to be Mitt Romney. In a past essay, Black In The 99%, I laid out why these myths of the “great” socioeconomic experience of Black people in America are myths."

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Dispatches from Freedom Summer l Ghosts of Greenwood

Dispatches from Freedom Summer l Ghosts of Greenwood | OUR COMMON GROUND  Informed Truth and Resistance | Scoop.it
A reporter goes to Mississippi and encounters the echoes of family and the struggle for civil rights.
by Nikole Hannah-Jones July 8, 2014
OUR COMMON GROUND Omnibus's insight:

" . . . It was dusk and the Delta heat settled about my shoulders like a wool blanket. Heavy and uncomfortable, it made my notebook paper fall limp and my ink stop flowing. Gnats and mosquitoes swarmed my legs. Aunt Charlotte, wrapped in a memory, paused to listen to an owl hooting a melancholy warning."

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