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’ll reveal 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 second 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
Our first of three writers from the United Kingdom, Jesse Wilson brings a youthful optimism and freshness to everything he writes. Jesse’s work consistently resonates with well-tempered optimism and poignancy, not to mention flourishes of British syntax which makes for articles brimming with a relaxed charm. When invited to share his thoughts on Blackness, Jesse penned a work that cuts through a superficial and visual definition and plumbs the deep waters of the cultural, psychological, and deeply personal implications of living in Black skin. His is an article that highlights the similarities of the Black experience in his homeland and here, across the Pond.
Joel Leon. is an incredibly talented writer who we fell in love with in layers. At first it was his insanely beautiful prosetry, where every word was a gift to the senses. Once the language sucks you in, though, one cannot help but feel his intense pain as a Black man. He has emerged an ardent proponent of love as a mechanism for everything from self-care to societal change. As he states here, “Love lives as both the centerpiece and catalyst, not just for conversation, but for productive action and movement.” The world beyond Medium is rapidly discovering Joel, and we are only the better for hearing his message.
Rebecca Hyman brings the gimlet eye of a professional scholar, an inquiring mind that questions the status quo, and the warm understanding of a trauma therapist to her writing. She speaks candidly about issues we are afraid to frame with words, and provides several ways to not only deal with the situations but also to break the power of unspoken wounds. In this article, she posits that we must not stop at the level of personal belief and conduct but push into understanding that white privilege is the structure that exists to protect white people in their social positions.
From essays to fiction to a wide array of poetry, there is no literary form Tre L. Loadholt hasn’t mastered or used to enlarge the range of emotions our hearts can feel. When she writes about race, one can feel the pain of being a Black woman or man in America today, and yet also the joy. As she writes here in “The Beauty of ‘Different’ and What I Learned from It,” “I see my friendships as stepping stones into a blissful life. These beautiful people have seen me at my worst and love me just the same.”