In the shadow of Mr. George Floyd’s lynching-by-other-means, our organization is reflecting on how our magazines can make a material contribution to countering racism in our communities. We have always striven to create publications that look like the towns and cities they serve, and we are instituting programs that address racial inequity in our own company, but that’s not enough. Though I am convinced that the solution to racism lies in the better angels of our nature, not in the hands of politicians (half of whom pretend that they think Black Lives Matter means other lives don’t – shame, shame on them) or editorials penned by righteous publishers, surely a local publishing company can share our platform with community stakeholders. But not in a vacuum.
In recognition of that fact, I am reaching out to community leaders, readers, staff and friends with a one-line emailed question: “What can our magazines do to help?” I will share their responses in future issues and online. (I’m keeping names confidential in order to guarantee an open exchange of ideas.)
The responses so far have ranged from optimistic to resigned to sad to mournful and angry – usually a combination.
All have been thoughtful.
A friend of mine and of the magazine responded, “My first thought was why not host community virtual meetings [where] a broad cross section of the community [could] tell their personal stories as it relates to racism, as well as have them provide their solutions for fighting racism in our community. You could then dedicate an edition of the magazine [to this idea] and include selected persons who participated in those conversations. Your magazine, I suspect, reaches a readership that may have given no consideration to racism in general and specifically to racism [here].”
Another person wrote, “I appreciate you asking me. I think about that question every day, ‘What can I do in this dark time?’ I think of the children and what they are experiencing – are they feeling the hate and confusion? The other day, I listened to a young man [who] was 10 or 12 years old, [and] he said, ‘I just want to live.’ You can imagine what that did to me. They don’t understand and will be hurt the most.
“To answer your question: What can you do? The children will lead us. Telling stories of children, black, brown and white together, playing, talking and eating, all the things that adults are supposed to do. When it comes to the police, the adults are going to have to work that out. I wish I had a grand idea, but I think we have lost our way and [are] attempting to find it. In the meantime, I just pray we don’t teach our children to hate.”
Amen. – Dan Shannon
12 On Love and War and Writing
A Q&A with author Robert Huddleston, 96, about his new World War II historical fiction
16 Cheering on the Class of 2020
A group of parents wanted to find a way to celebrate high school seniors whose final year was cut short. An entire community stepped in to help.
26 Marching for Justice
Photos from June’s Rally for Justice and protests at the Chatham County Courthouse
34 At First Light
Moments with hard-working early risers in our towns
84 Welcome to the Neighborhood
Isabel and Efrain Piñeiro adore their 55+ community
88 Retirement Guide
Directory of continuing care retirement communities and assisted living, independent senior living and 55+ living communities
106 Homegrown Getaways
These families used their time at home to make improvements and create enviable backyards
122 A Pool to Dive For
Family and friends make a splash in this backyard oasis
124 Go Exploring
14 ideas for ways to enjoy the outdoors this summer in Orange and Chatham counties
Departments & Columns
10 Get Offline, Go Online
Virtual yoga classes, storytime and bake-alongs to enjoy from home
What we’ve heard around Chatham
132 Simplify Your Summer
Three easy recipes that celebrate the season: Postal Fish Company’s corn-and-crab fritters with comeback sauce, tzatziki from Olga Bakatsias of Kipos and Mary Tate of Venable’s The Love Letter cocktail
Meredith Beaton and Jonathan Pruitt Alex Okulski and Jane Smith
Rachel Crawford and Joshua Donnald
Erica Carlsen and Russell Parks