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 this third installment of 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
C. Seals comes to us with stories that are deeply personal and revealing, whether it is his time in the Boy Scouts where he was first called out with an expletive or his lived existence as a Black man walking in a world that sees only his visage. Blackness is tiring, not so much from the exhaustion of experience but the weariness that comes from indifference and isolation imposed upon it. And yet, it is always possible to make a connection — if there’s someone on the other side, ready to listen.
Antiracism educator, author, and activist Tim Wise is an avid supporter of Our Human Family and its efforts. His take-no-prisoners assessments and precise demystification of America’s systemic racism, make him an OHF staple. In “Bad Will Hunting,” Tim peels back the pretense of a friendly interrogation gone awry of the Ahmaud Arbery murder to expose the killers’ “contempt for Black bodies in spaces deemed white,” which for far too long has been the modus operandi of racists throughout America.
Erik Deckers is known for his humor and his ability to speak truth while making us laugh about the absurdity of power and prestige. And the same insight that leads to humor also leads to direct words that dig into the core issues bedeviling our times. His words remind us that while we might act and speak in ways that feel good in the moment, we’ll regret the effects of our outbursts for much longer than the momentary pleasure they bring — our past might just catch up to us one day, to our great sorrow.
No one writes with the passion and conviction of our sister Marley K. Although this piece is called “An Ode to Blackness,” the entire body of her work could probably be called the same. She writes honestly, openly, and viscerally about the effects of racism in our country, and her stories are both excoriating to those who would perpetuate this disease and yet highly inspirational to those of us seeking equality for all humans. Despite the non-stop challenges, she sees the unique beauty and grace of Blackness, and her elation here is contagious.