What a year. From the pandemic to the protests to the partisanship, volumes will be written about the 366 days that comprised 2020. Our writers have chronicled this year through the lofty lens of equality in their stories: the highs, the lows, and the crazy range of stuff in-between.
The editors of Our Human Family (OHF) culled this year’s articles for our favorites: the works that best reflect the ideals to which we aspire. While we adore all our writers and their ability to bring the fullness of their humanity to their writing, the twenty writers and their works listed below — none of whom are OHF editors — nailed it. Through their writing, these authors shined a light on the complexities and idiosyncrasies of the human experience that bring us together or sometimes keep us from achieving our fullest potential.
We’re revealing four of our favorites in no particular order each day over a five-day period, and then share the full list on New Year’s Eve. So sit back and enjoy the first installment of these reflections that explores and illuminates the strength, beauty, shame, and resilience of our human family.
Love one another,
Founder and Editorial Director
Special Projects Editor
D Abboh is a Londoner of African heritage who eats, sleeps, lives, loves, suffers, and exults through her amazing poetry. Although she’ll take you through the highest of life’s highs, like the birth of her sons, to the lowest of lows, such as the loss of her mother, there is almost an ethereal quality to her work that makes you experience these moments as part of their place within the universe. Even though “Freedom, Justice and Equality” addresses the scourge of racism, she can still look to the sky to find epiphanies.
Brian Fehler is a storyteller whose words breathe life into people and places, and his stories consistently draw readers into his world. Yet simmering near the surface of each story is an allegory of what it’s like to strive for equality as a gay man. In “How Do We Get There from Here,” he introduces readers to his granddad and a colorful cast of west Texas regulars in “a dusty diner” to tell us how he learned that finding a starting point of commonality, of shared ground, even if that shared ground was a bad joke about an imaginary New England yokel, is something essential for an American, for a human being, to do.
Brian King, also known as BFoundAPen, writers from his personal experience of living while Black in America, whether it is the confounding times of invisibility or the very real need for Black children to have role models in their lives who are teachers, doctors, technicians, or civil rights leaders. His story of Mr. Walker as a Black teacher caring for Black students reminds us we can rebuild the lost dreams of children by ensuring that they are led by confidence-restorers in whom they can identify and who can relate to them.
There isn’t a more perfect bio for a writer than Indira Reddy’s: “Endlessly fascinated by how 26 simple symbols can say so much…” Whether a one-line poem or lengthy story, Indira’s work is filled with textured, richly layered, and nuanced language that demonstrates the elasticity of those 26 symbols. In “(Re)formation: Step Back to Acceptance,” Indira calls out the subtle but wonderful ways in which we are all alike, reaffirming our shared humanity.