Clay Rivers
Artist, actor, author, editorial director of Our Human Family (http://medium.com/our-human-family). Connect via social media: @clayrivers. Love one another.

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

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“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.

In 1919, fifty-four years after the abolition of the enslavement of Black Americans and thirty-nine years after Black men were granted the right to vote, July Perry led a voter registration campaign for the Black residents of Ocoee, Florida. In response, white residents lynched him, ran all of the Black residents out of town, and burned their homes, churches, businesses, and farmland to the ground. …


FINDING GRATITUDE IN 2020

The Covid-19 Edition

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Photo by Severin Höin on Unsplash

With everything that’s going on right now, it’s so easy to lose sight of the irrefutable fact that you are blessed and will get through this . . . as long as you live responsibly. Let’s table the debate about whether or not the Divine is involved in your life for another day. Just roll with me on this.

Enter Covid-19

Few would disagree that humanity has been hemmed in on all sides, partially by Covid-19, if not more so by willful human stupidity. …


Depending on how you see a thing

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Photo by Joseph Greve on Unsplash

The Call for Submissions

There’s no need to rehash this year. 2020 sucks. And is very much keeping on brand even now. With that thought in mind, we’re going to take liberties with this prompt: Gratitude in 2020. Choose one or more of the following prompts, write your heart out, and get it to us. (Please send multiple submissions separately.)

If you’re like me, chances are you’re going to need to write in preparation for this upcoming Thanksgiving-under-mask. But I’m not complaining, better safe than sorry. As long as there’s fresh cranberry sauce, I’m good.

So here are the options:

Option 1

How did you first learn that it’s okay for people to different? Was it something you learned as a child? Or were you a late-bloomer and it’s only been till recently that you’ve had your worldview expanded (or blown apart) to realize that we all don’t have to look, live, or love the same? …


EQUALITY AFTER ELECTION DAY

Will broken relationships be reconciled after November 3?

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Photo by Tom Fisk from Pexels

The Current Landscape

The past forty-six months have been a maze littered with strained relationships, broken friendships, and a scattering of unfollowed and blocked social media contacts, loosely dubbed friends—all sacrificed on the altar of politics. What remains for the rest of the journey is a basket full of like-minded individuals and a couple of dissenters who have enough sense to keep their mouths shut and post only about cooking, their kids, or their pets. I plan to get the jump on any November 3 jitters by pondering a few questions: What do I do with a basket full of profiles and no bread crumb trail to find my way home? Is there a way for me and my friends and acquaintances to return to that former state of grace where we treated a difference of opinion with deference? Did this thinned-out herd merely outwit, outplay, and outlast the others according to Darwin’s paradigm? …


Volume 2 Number 36

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Photo by cloudvisual on Unsplash

The past forty-six months have been a path littered with strained relationships, broken friendships, and a scattering of stopped, blocked, and unfollowed social media contacts loosely dubbed friends, not to mention those we encounter in person — all sacrificed on the altar of politics. What remains is a basket full of like-minded individuals and probably a couple of dissenters who consider it best to keep their mouths shut. I hope to get the jump on November 3, by pondering the question: What do I do with a basket full of profiles and no bread crumb trail to find my way home? Is there a way for me and my friends and acquaintances to return to that former state of grace, when we treated a difference of opinion with deference? Did this thinned-out herd simply outwit, outplay, and outlast the others in the real-life Survival of the Fittest competition? …


Volume 2 Number 34

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Ally. Allyship. We’re hearing those words a lot lately. And from the looks of things, there’s going to be an increasing need for more allies for quite some time. But what exactly is an ally? What’s an ally suppose to do? And how does one become an ally?

If only there was a resource that addressed all of that . . .

Well, there is! Your friends at Our Human Family are here for you. We’ve gathered a few members of our writing family and published a new book that answers those questions and many, many more in an authentic, thoughtful, and meaningful way: Fieldnotes on Allyship: Achieving Equality Together. If you’ve enjoyed the articles we’ve produced over the past year and a half, you’re going to adore this anthology of eighteen . . . I’ll stop. I don’t want to ruin the surprise. …


The new book by Our Human Family

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“Fieldnotes on Allyship,” the new book by Our Human Family.

The Recap

In the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd, people are speaking out against systemic racism and the killing of Black Americans by law enforcement officers. Unprecedented numbers of people—of all demographics—are participating in peaceful marches and demonstrations in support of Black Lives Matter across the country. There are many more who want to get involved, but demonstrations are not an option. And they’re unsure what to do.

The Book

Fieldnotes on Allyship: Achieving Equality Together is an informal and informative guide to becoming an effective ally and covers four areas: 1) how we as a nation got here, 2) identifying the forces that maintain systemic racism, 3) preparing to be an ally, and 4) serving as an ally. …


Let’s talk about Black

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The Call

Black. There, I said it.

America has an almost schizophrenic relationship with black. American’s are all in for the majority of black things; like the cachet of the “black label,” the elegance of the “little black dress,” the thrill of the treacherous “black diamond,” the power of the stealthy “black panther,” and the mystique of “black magic.” But when the country’s conversations turn to matters concerning its Black people or their blackness, a rush of anti-Black sentiment — okay, anti-Black racism — bubbles up from a large portion of non-Black America. There are heated discussions even about who gets to be Black, who has Black foisted upon them, and who the arbiters of Black are. …


You *still* don’t get to decide who is and isn’t Black

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Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

It’s ironic how up until a few days ago, people were more than happy to refer to the junior representative from California as African American, some would even refer to her using the B-word, Black. But now that she’s presumptive Democratic nominee for vice president, haters and naysayers would like to deny her the identity she has claimed.

Puh-lease. These folks are probably of the same ilk who would deny that Serena Williams has won twenty-three Grand Slam titles or Condoleezza Rice was the first female African-American Secretary of State.

Connecting the dots will be quite simple. No mental gymnastics here. …


Volume 2, Number 25

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Source.

I doubt there are many who would disagree with the phrase a millions of people are muttering these days: What a time to be alive. Americans, and people the world over for that matter, are finding themselves faced with unheard of challenges. Any one of these challenges would be catastrophic enough to derail a life. Yet here many of us are, juggling chainsaws to stay alive and losing appendages and more along the way.

It seems to me we could stand to take note of the ant. Individually, who gives thought to one? So insignificant, its life is snuffed out for sport. …

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