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Clay Rivers
Artist, author, accidental activist, & editorial dir of Our Human Family ( and Twitter: @clayrivers

If Black people could’ve remedied the problem single-handedly, we would have. A long time ago.

“Fieldnotes on Allyship: Achieving Equality Together,” an informal and informational guide to becoming an ally by Our Human Family.

Summer 2020, people the world over learned the United States’ ugly secret known by Black people in this country for 400 years: Black lives are regarded as having little to no value. And for any Black person who dares challenge this worldview, retribution can be sure, swift, and deadly.


Hear ye, hear ye, all Black, Indigenous, and People of Color! Pack it up civil right advocates, it’s time to go home. We’ve got it all wrong. According to I am Jim, “being white . . . is not an actual privilege. Neither is being male, or straight or any…

Another one of my open letters

In response to a late night rant I came across last night.

Buddy, it sounds like you have not a chip, but the Rock of Gibraltar on your shoulder. Here’s why I say that. Fifteen words into your first sentence you’re name-calling (“white latte liberals”) and making unfounded accusations (“telling…

Black people are being slaughtered. For the dead, tomorrow is too late for your activism.

Photo by Erik Witsoe on Unsplash

Whenever my white friends confess, I didn’t know it was this bad — it being racism — my reaction is always one of surprise and sadistic glee. As a Black man, I find it surprising that yet another white person has chosen to eschew the comfort and bliss that accompanies…

Pity that I can only give this 50 claps, Lord knows I have thousands more I'd like to give. Marley you've been a uniquely refreshing voice full of cleansing fire—and you always bring the heat. Know that you'll be missed. Thanks for the memories and insights and ballsiness to speak truth in love to white power. Maybe we'll see one another soon. I gotta go write a few more essays, clean up, and pack my shit. Safe travels, Sweets!

And to all you wonderful readers who supported Our Human Family, thanks for memories, lessons, laughs, and love. And if you'd like to stay in touch ... you know how to find me. (If not, just ask around.)

Love one another.


And other unlikely outcomes

A mural in Minneapolis by Xena Goldman, Cadex Herrera, Greta McLain, Niko Alexander, and Pablo Hernandez from

It’s been ten months since Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd on the streets of Minneapolis — in front of the whole world — with subzero indifference, lethal determination, and no shred of humanity. And frankly, I’m uneasy about the whole thing.

I’ve been Black a man for a long time…

Volume 3 Number 7

Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

Earlier this week I teleconferenced—as a guest—with a group of white folks from my alma mater working through a curriculum about allyship.

In situations where I’m a guest, my approach to talking with white people about racism is pretty laid back. I give folks the opportunity to voice their opinions…


Another February has come and gone and with it another Black History Month. I don’t know about you, but this one will be penned in red in my journal, and not because of the harsh wake-up call that we live in an age in which the work of artists is…

Cooking. I enjoy it almost as much as I enjoy eating. For me, food, cooking, and breaking bread with friends and family are not the endgame, together they’re a means to an end: bringing people together to explore or deepen relationships through a shared experience. …

Subverting readers and potential earnings away from Medium writers and pubs

Photo by Katrin Hauf on Unsplash

I’ve been thinking about the events mentioned in my first essay. If the purpose of the condensed bully-published version of this article was to give it exposure, I’m not buying that. The article was doing just fine in the Our Human Family publication. Cocoa Griot’s original Underground Railroad article garnered…

Clay Rivers

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