Friday, October 31, 2008

Feeling the Hand of God

My grammy is amazing.
"Our mother is so happy for having voted. She is proud to know that her vote went in and when the tallys are counted that hers is there. I talked with her today and she talked almost 30 minutes about how happy she was and she just thanked everybody that had any part in making it happen. Thank you for being serious enough to follow through. It is the only way that the elderly can vote and maintain some dignity about their life at that age. Mom is a blessed women at 88 to have seen all the major events of the 20th Century and then to vote for someone of color. She feels as though she has felt the Hand of God!"

When I saw this email that my mother sent to the family to thank them about being so vigilant in fighting to keep my grandmother's name from being purged after being displaced by Katrina, and getting her ballot shipped so that she could vote absentee, I cried. I've read the moving human interest pieces about elderly black people across America getting to the polls for this election, but this brings the story home for me.

My grandmother was born in New Orleans in 1920. She was so poor that she spent time in an orphanage even though her parents were alive, so poor that she wore two left shoes-- mens size 10, orange-- that her family bought at a rummage sale to school. Her story is the story of many, the story of a frontliner to the life I of privilege that I lead today. She didn't finish high school, but she's finishing first in life. After raising 12 kids, some of whom (like my mom) were PRE Brown vs. the Board of the Education grade school de-segregators, and some of whom (my mom's 4 older siblings) fled the Jim Crow South never to return.

What a life! I can't imagine it, and that was precisely her goal. That a granddaughter such as I would have a different life, one protected from such experiences, where such abject poverty and oppression would exist only in my imagination. As I place myself in her shoes -- her two left shoes -- I am moved by the long race she's run with such a handicap. I am moved to feel the full gale force of this revolution in a way that I never could without her example. After such a life as she has lived, the things that she has seen, the things that she has felt, this bone fide wise woman has cast her vote, and feels the very hand of God on it. Who am I to argue with that? Go grammy! I bless God for the gift of you.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Hurricane Katrina Videogames for Kids?!?!? WTF?!

"Tempest in Crescent City is the second game developed by Global Kids, a not-for-profit that provides after school programs to involve inner city youth in new media. You play a teen in New Orleans during Katrina ut sequelae, trying to find and save your Mom.In each level, the water level rises; in the first, the levees haven't broken yet, in the second you can wade through the water, and by the third you have to swim. Obstacles you must avoid lose you health, and you have a limited number of lives. However, you can gain "hero points" by interacting with characters you encounter -- e.g., by the second level, you have a hammer you can use to break open the roofs of houses where people are trapped. Enough hero points earn you extra lives."

This is so fucked up! At this rate, there'll be an amusement park ride in no time. I don't know what to say, but Richard @ Metroblogging New Orleans says it best.

To quote Rachel Maddow, I'm looking for someone to talk me down on this one. But I'm not you can or should.

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